A quiet Friday evening within the Hollywood Hills became tragedy for 9-year-old Piper, a blue merle/Chihuahua mix, as she strolled — leashed — behind her dog walker, only to be snatched and mauled to death by a mountain lion.
Video from early Friday evening in a residential area near the Hollywood Reservoir — near Creston and Durand drives — shows a big, collared cougar emerging from the comb, creeping along the road after which crouching as he sees the small walking party.
Seconds later, the recording shows the mountain lion pounce from behind and wrest Piper backward.
“I felt the tug and I heard Piper squeal,” the person who was walking the dog told KTLA-TV.
He didn’t want his name or face revealed.
“It was like a two- or three-second struggle,” he told the TV station. “He had Piper in his mouth. He didn’t growl in any respect. I didn’t even hear him. I never had a likelihood.”
Nobody has positively identified the mountain lion, nonetheless it is probably going P-22, an 11-year-old cat who has made Griffith Park his home. Biologists trapped the puma in 2012, fastened on a light-weight radio tracking collar and gave him the name P-22.
The cougar is widely known in the realm, periodically getting spotted on home security cameras or showing up in people’s driveways, like he did last month in Los Feliz.
Piper’s owner, Daniel Jimenez, told KTLA that he was devastated at Piper’s loss, whom he and his wife adopted in 2014.
“She was just the sweetest dog,” he told the news station.
He was informed of the incident via text, and initially thought it was a joke.
The text read: “The mountain lion attacked and took away your dog. Killed your dog,” he told KTLA. “Turned out it was real and we were just shocked.”
Whether the mountain lion was P-22 or not, “we have to be made more aware of the undeniable fact that a lion doesn’t know boundaries of secure or unsafe territory, or where it should or mustn’t go,” said Zara McDonald, a cougar biologist executive director of the Bay Area Puma Project.
“Small dogs seem like the smaller prey that they catch on a regular basis of their habitat, and so this isn’t particularly surprising,” she said. She said dog walkers must be particularly vigilant when walking small dogs from dusk to dawn — when mountain lions are inclined to hunt.
“Standard story really but every yr we’re moving further away from balanced ecosystems and more to human altered systems… that puts lions at much greater risk of repercussions for not getting the memo, and for just being what they’re naturally,” she said. “It’s essential to get it immediately with our pets in order that we don’t bring pumas closer habitually and eventually a small human becomes prey.”