A famous mountain lion who is known throughout California has been captured just days after attacking a Chihuahua and mauling a different dog in brutal assaults.
The beast, known as P-22, has even featured in books and films and has been allowed to roam in Los Angeles for over a decade, tracked via GPS as part of an experiment.
Before 2022, he had never attacked any pets and only feasted on wild animals – until he was recently pictured stalking a dog walker after hiding in a bush and sprinting out to attack.
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Terrified Warren Jason, a Hollywood Hills resident who witnessed the savage incident, said: "He literally grabbed one of the dogs, pulled him so hard that he pulled him off the leash, and ran off with the dog in its mouth.”
Although the lion was linked to the death of a koala from Griffith Park Zoo found mauled to death in 2016 as his GPS revealed he was in the area, he was never named by officials as the killer.
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Despite the spate of killings from the prowling predator, the forgiving community is now worried that he might get backlash over his behaviour and is seeking to protect him.
One resident claimed: "The drought means there are less rabbits and other wildlife in the area, so P-22 is looking for food. This is his home and we have to adapt."
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But officials from California's Fish and Wildlife Department have now confirmed the capture of the mountain lion, after announcing they were starting to look for him a few days ago.
They released a photo of the big cat laying on the floor tranquilised before they transported him to an animal care facility.
Experts are now set to examine P-22, who is in a stable condition after being hit with the dart in the trendy Los Feliz neighbourhood.
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The cougar’s change in behaviour will be studied by the team before they make a decision on his future.
“This is an unprecedented situation in which a mountain lion has continued to survive in such an urban setting," the state wildlife department said in a statement.
"As P-22 has aged, however, the challenges associated with living on an island of habitat seem to be increasing and scientists are noting a recent change in his behavior."
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