Walking his two dogs became a traumatic experience for a Los Angeles man. A puma that suddenly jumped out of the bushes onto the street pounced on his Chihuahua and bit him dead, several US media reports.
"I felt the pull and heard Piper squeak," the dog walker is quoted as saying, according to CNN. "I turned around and just saw a face. I didn't know what it was." The attack happened on November 9th in the Hollywood Hills and was filmed by a surveillance camera. According to the owner, the fight lasted just two or three seconds. "He had Piper in his mouth. He didn't growl at all. I didn't even hear him. I never had a chance."
The National Park Service reportedly told the broadcaster that the animal that killed the Chihuahua was P-22, one of several mountain lions (also known as cougars) that the US agency tracks with GPS collars .
P-22 is an 11-year-old male mountain lion who weighs about 110 pounds, according to the National Park Service website, and is the most famous of the mountain lions living there. Also known as the "Hollywood Cat," the animal spends most of its time at Griffith Park and is also suspected of killing a koala at the Los Angeles Zoo in 2016. But it's also said to hunt deer, coyotes, and other typical mountain lion prey The agency said there were no other known attacks on leashed pets in the Los Angeles area.
Also, the dog owner would like other pet owners to be careful when walking their pets, especially after dark. "I don't want anything bad to happen to P-22," he is quoted as saying. "I just want people out there to be safe so something like this doesn't happen again."
According to the National Park Service, around 100 mountain lions live in the Santa Monica Mountains. The big cats are threatened by habitat fragmentation from roads and other developments, leading to collisions with vehicles and increased inbreeding as they are no longer able to roam freely within their territory.
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Sources: CNN, National Park Service