Famed Hollywood Mountain Lion Accused of Koala Zoo Mauling

It looks like the Los Angeles Zoo is going to have to get some taller walls and maybe overhanging barbed wire. Interesting that nobody thought of that before. 

Turns out the 9-foot fence that surrounds the LA Zoo is not enough to detour a bounding full grown mountain lion accused of mauling a koala last week.

Known by wildlife biologists as P-22, the famed Hollywood cat has made a name for itself for having survived within the city’s largest municipal park, meaning he crossed a freeway. Being within Griffith Park means that his habitat borders homes, hiking trails and of course, the zoo.

Last year, the healthy 6-year-old sought refuge in a Hollywood hills crawl space, but most of the time, the big guy is extremely illusive. 

Zoo officials say they don’t know how the mountain lion got into the park. Security cameras captured it roaming the interior. Last week on March 3, officials discovered one of the koala’s was missing, a 14-year-old named Killarney. The oldest of the zoo’s koalas reportedly like to stay on the ground, rather than the trees, making an easy target. 

“The evidence is circumstantial. We don’t have any video of it taking the koala. We can’t say 100%,” L.A. Zoo director John Lewis told The Times on Thursday

He said park officials were described about a month ago to see the cougar show up on security footage just having a stroll through the park at night. 

“It was kind of like ‘Whoa,’ ” Lewis said.

Until the park can build higher, more secure walls, all the koalas and other vulnerable critters are being secured at night. 

© Tania Thomas | Dreamstime.com – Koala