That very same night, according to the wire service, zoo employees checked surveillance footage and saw something startling: P-22, the city’s famous urban mountain lion, lurking about.
“The evidence is circumstantial,” Lewis told the L.A. Times. “We don’t have any video of it taking the koala. We can’t say 100 percent.”
Even so, zookeepers lock away smaller animals at night now to protect against any possible future attacks, AP reported.
P-22 lives in Griffith Park and was famously photographed by National Geographic strutting past the Hollywood sign. He’s become a beloved icon of the city’s mountain lions.
Zoo employees looking at surveillance footage last month first caught a glimpse of P-22 roaming near the zoo, Lewis told NBC Los Angeles.
“We were actually looking for bobcats, and what we found on that night was P-22,” Lewis told the station. “That was the first time we knew he was getting into the zoo.”
Killarney was the zoo’s oldest koala, the L.A. Times reported. She leaves behind no offspring, and unlike the other koalas in the zoo, she liked to walk around their open enclosure at night, Lewis told the paper. The koalas are surrounded by an 8-foot wall.
“He had to jump down into the enclosure and jump back out with the koala,” Lewis told the paper. “It’s a pretty good feat in itself. … It was a pretty quick snatch.”
City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell highlighted the koala’s killing as a reason to relocate P-22 to a more remote area, the L.A. Times reported.
Barbara Romero, deputy mayor for city services, said “unfortunately, these types of incidents happen when we have a zoo in such close proximity to one of the largest urban parks in the country,” NBC Los Angeles reported.
The city’s mountain lions are surrounded by freeways and there’s a proposal to construct a $55 million wildlife bridge to connect the creatures.
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P-22 is in a crawl space under a home in Los Feliz - I hope he makes it out of there and back into the park safely! GO P-22!!! This is an image from my @natgeo magazine story on Cougars from Dec. 2013. Cougar P-22 stopping on the trail in Griffith Park, with LA as its background. @stevewinterphoto P-22 was trying to disperse and find his own home - He left Santa Monica National Recreation Area and ended up in Griffith Park. Jeff Sikich from the National Park Service has been monitoring him for the last 3 years. To find out more about the animals in the Santa Monica National Recreation Area - the largest urban park in the US - and wildlife overpass project - planned over the 101 freeway at Liberty Canyon - check out the Samo Fund. The animals - specifically the cougars of the area need the overpass - as genetically they are in the same situation the florida panther was when they brought in some new genes a few years ago from mt. lions from the south. www.samofund.org #SamoFund. #SaveLACougars #NBCLA @latimes #bigcatsforever @natgeo http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-famed-p22-mountain-lion-found-under-los-feliz-home-owner-says-20150413-story.html Please visit National Geographic Magazine @natgeo - ngm.com and National Geographic’s Big Cat Initiative @ CauseAnUproar.org, to find out ways to become involved - to save big cats! @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #beauty #la #me # photofotheday #cougar #canon #photography #conservationphotography #porlaplaneta @natgeo #bigcatsforever