Mountain lion P-22 captured for evaluation after attacking dogs

As a result of two reports of attacks on leashed dogs, mountain lion P-22 has been captured for study, authorities said.

On Monday, state wildlife officials captured one of the oldest and most recognisable pumas in Los Angeles from the backyard of a home in Los Feliz.

State Department of Fish and Wildlife officers tracked P-22 with his GPS collar, tranquillized him with darts, and then brought him to the Los Angeles Zoo for medical checkups. After providing emergency care and triage, the zoo’s medical staff returned P-22 to Fish and Wildlife. An anonymous report suggested he may have been hit by a car recently, but his condition was initially reported to be stable.

P-22, who is about 11 years old, has been accused of at least two attacks on pets whose owners took them for walks.

One time, he even murdered a Chihuahua that was walking alongside him. Similarly, a dog owner fought off a mountain lion that had attacked his dog, leaving the animal with deep cuts all over its body and neck.

On Thursday, the National Park Service and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced plans to capture P-22 for the purposes of assessing his health and “make a decision about what to do next that will benefit the animal and keep people safe.

P-22 has lived peacefully alongside humans and pets for over a decade in what is thought to be the smallest and most urban range of any mountain lion, so these occurrences stand out as out of the ordinary. It was reported that the big cat had “possible signs of distress”

While mountain lions are apex predators in the wild, they rarely attack domestic pets, especially when they are on leashes.

Nothing Was Said About The Cougar’s Potential Fate

P-22 is the eldest Southern California cougar in the research population, with an estimated age of around 12 years. In the wild, a mountain lion’s lifespan averages ten years.

When a mountain lion survives in a city, it is unheard of. Scientists have noticed a change in P-22’s behaviour in recent weeks, and the state wildlife department speculates that this is due to the increased difficulty of life on an island of habitat as P-22 ages.

Nothing Was Said About The Cougar's Potential Fate

While P-22 typically preys on deer and coyotes, the National Park Service confirmed in November that the cougar attacked and killed a chihuahua mix being walked in the Hollywood Hills’ congested streets.

Another chihuahua was attacked this month in the Silver Lake area, and the cougar is suspected to be responsible.

In order to provide a safe passage for big cats, coyotes, deer, and other wildlife to the nearby Santa Monica Mountains from a Los Angeles area freeway, P-22 became the public face of the campaign to construct a wildlife crossing over the freeway.

“underscores the need to proactively protect mountain lions and other wildlife by reconnecting our landscape,” said Center for Biological Diversity policy director J.P. Rose about P-22’s distress in his old age.

The health of animal populations is directly tied to the safety of human populations, so providing wildlife with ample space to roam is essential. To prevent other wildlife from being doomed to a life of isolation, Rose urged state officials to protect mountain lions under the California Endangered Species Act and for Los Angeles to adopt a strong connectivity ordinance.

The construction of the bridge, which will span US 101 for 200 feet (61 metres), began this year and is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2025.

The Government Has Determined That The Mountain Lion Is In Distress

Two separate attacks on leashed dogs have been linked to the same animal. The first time this happened, he attacked and killed a chihuahua whose owner was walking them together. The second time around, the proprietor successfully repelled P-22. The dog, however, sustained multiple cuts to its neck and body.

The Government Has Determined That The Mountain Lion Is In Distress

On Thursday, the National Park Service and Fish and Wildlife said in a joint statement that they would capture the mountain lion to “determine the best next steps for the animal while also prioritising the safety of surrounding communities.”

The departments are worried that P-22 “may be exhibiting signs of distress” despite the fact that he has never posed a threat. Rarely will a mountain lion go after a pet if it is with its owner?

Beth Pratt, regional executive director of the California National Wildlife Federation, told ABC News7, “We don’t know the cause for his sudden change in behaviour.” “But we appreciate the community’s support through this difficult time.”

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“Our hearts go out to the pets and people who have been impacted by P-22’s distress,” she continued.

The average lifespan of a mountain lion is eight years. Since his age is the likely culprit, Pratt blames it for his hostility. As a senior wild cat, his age also complicates the next steps.

Now, 10–12 is really stretching it for mountain lions, she had said previously. Additionally, he’s getting older in front of the camera, right? To my knowledge, this has never happened before. He probably wouldn’t make it if they uprooted him. Because of this, it was always a last resort.

Last Words

The moment the mountain lion attacks, you should use any large objects you have at your disposal, such as a walking stick, a hunting knife, rocks, or anything else, to scare it away. It’s possible that pepper spray would work as effectively as a deterrent, too. Throw stones at or near the mountain lion if it begins to act aggressively, and make it think you’re just as dangerous as it is.

Author

  • Karan Sirari

    I am an author and a public speaker. I was born in India and have travelled to many different countries. I have a masters in public communication from California University and I love to write about famous peoples from different industries.

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