A famous California mountain lion was captured Monday for a health evaluation after signs of possible distress were observed, and weeks after it was thought to have killed a pet, wildlife officials said.
P-22, whose home range is in Griffith Park by the Hollywood Hills, was sedated with tranquilizer darts in the nearby Los Feliz neighborhood, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and the National Park Service said in a joint statement.
The big cat is believed to have killed a leashed pet last month and “may be exhibiting signs of distress,” according to the statement.
Security camera footage of the attack released by local outlet KTLA showed the mountain lion walking through a residential neighborhood and pouncing on a blue merle-Chihuahua mix named Piper.
The famous “Hollywood Cat” was captured around 11:30 a.m., a spokesman for the park service said.
The animal was reported to be in stable condition Monday and was undergoing additional veterinary evaluation, the agencies said in a statement. Wildlife authorities cited an anonymous tip that P-22 might have been hit by a vehicle Sunday night.
Officials reported finding the cat through a tracking collar, put on him previously as part of a study.
“CDFW veterinarians and NPS biologists will determine the best next steps for the animal while also prioritizing the safety of the surrounding communities,” the statement said. “CDFW and NPS have already been in contact with leading institutions for animal care and rehabilitation centers.”
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Upon determining where he was through the GPS locations and signal from his tracking collar, biologists were able to dart him in the neighborhood, the agency wrote.
“CDFW veterinarians and NPS biologists will determine the best next steps for the animal while also prioritizing the safety of the surrounding communities. CDFW and NPS have already been in contact with leading institutions for animal care and rehabilitation centers.”
According to the National Park Service website, P-22 is an 11-year old male puma that weighs about 123 pounds. The mountain lion spends most of his time within Griffith Park, one of the largest municipal parks with urban wilderness areas in the United States located in the eastern Santa Monica Mountain range.
Natalie Neysa Alund covers trending news for USA TODAY. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @nataliealund.
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