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Wildlife officials plan to capture L.A.’s famous mountain lion, P-22, after it killed a leashed dog

Wildlife officials plan to capture and evaluate P-22, the world-famous mountain lion that has been roaming the parks and hills of Los Angeles for roughly a decade, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced Thursday.

This decision comes several weeks after P-22 attacked and killed a leashed dog that was on a walk with its owner in the Hollywood Hills.

“P-22 is a remarkably old cat in the wild and, after being deemed responsible for killing a leashed pet last month, may be exhibiting signs of distress,” CDFW said in a news release. “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.”

Home security cameras have recorded footage of P-22’s movements throughout the years, including last month’s attack on the Chihuahua.

Mountain Lion P-22
This Nov. 2014, file photo provided by the U.S. National Park Service shows a mountain lion known as P-22, photographed in the Griffith Park area near downtown Los Angeles. (U.S. National Park Service, via AP, File)

Following its capture and evaluation, CDFW says veterinarians and biologists with the National Park Service will “determine the best next steps for the animal while also prioritizing the safety of the surrounding communities.”

P-22, sometimes referred to as the “Hollywood Cat,” was first documented in 2012 by a camera set up by the Griffith Park Connectivity Study. At that time, he was estimated to be about a year-and-a-half old.

He was outfitted with a radio collar shortly thereafter.

CDFW says it is working with NPS to determine the “most humane options available for a plan of action for the lion and the community in which he lives.”

Last week, another leashed dog was attacked by a mountain lion in L.A.’s Silver Lake neighborhood. That dog, also a Chihuahua, survived after its owner fought off the big cat.