A mountain lion that frequents residential areas in the Griffith Park-Silver Lake-Hollywood area is apparently growing more aggressive.
Television station KTLA reported Friday that a man walking his dog in the Hollywood Hills saw one of his animals attacked by what is likely P-22, the mountain lion who has become something of a celebrity thanks to his presence in the city.
The man was walking the dogs in the early evening hours when the incident happened.
The mountain lion was captured on security footage emerging from the bushes and onto a residential street near the Hollywood Reservoir at Creston and Durand Drives.
The mountain lion spotted the dogs, then pounced on a small Chihuahua named Piper.
“I felt the tug and I heard Piper squeal,” the man said of the leashed dog. “I turn around and I just saw a face. I didn’t know what it was.”
He continued, “It was like a two or three second struggle. He had Piper in his mouth. He didn’t growl at all. I didn’t even hear him. I never had a chance.”
Piper did not survive. The second dog was unharmed.
Daniel Jimenez, the owner of Piper, was out celebrating his daughter’s birthday when the incident happened. He was notified by text “‘The mountain lion attacked and took away your dog. Killed your dog.’ We thought it was a joke, but it turned out it was real and we were just shocked,” said Jimenez.
Jimenez doesn’t blame the mountain lion, saying it was only doing what wild animals naturally do – hunt for food.
“I don’t want anything bad to happen to P-22,” said Jimenez. “I just want people to be safe out there so that nothing like this happens again.”
The famed P-22 mountain lion (actually a male cougar), has been seen in heavily populated hipster haven Silver Lake, a residential and commercial section of Los Angeles. The area is highly urban and trafficked, and is located about a mile to a mile-and-a-half from P-22’s usual Griffith Park domain, where he generally sticks to the high mountain country and is rarely sighted by humans.
While the 12-year-old P-22 can be considered a dangerous wild animal, his celebrity status is unquestioned, and neighbors of the area report his sightings with something akin to glee. A National Geographic photo spread, led to a 2017 documentary, The Cat That Changed America, a museum exhibit, a children’s coloring book, and a mural in Watts, an area even further south in Los Angeles.
P-22 is usually only seen on security cameras in the Hollywood Hills, although one memorable visit in 2015 saw him hole up in a crawlspace in the area.