A chihuahua was killed by a mountain lion during an evening walk in a residential area of the Hollywood Hills.
The attack took place on 9 November, when CCTV footage captured the mountain lion coming out of the bushes on a street lined with homes close to the Hollywood Reservoir.
A dogwalker, who chose to remain anonymous, was walking two small dogs in the area at the time.
The mountain lion can be seen in the surveillance footage stopping and crouching as it sees the pets. Not long after, the mountain lion attacks the smaller dog, Piper.
“I felt the tug and I heard Piper squeal,” the dogwalker told KTLA. “I turn around and I just saw a face. I didn’t know what it was.”
The local station reported that the mountain lion could have been P-22, a puma of 11 years which has been known to be staying in the area around Griffith Park.
“It was like a two-or three-second struggle,” the dogwalker said. “He had Piper in his mouth. He didn’t growl at all. I didn’t even hear him. I never had a chance.”
The other dog escaped the ordeal without injury.
Piper’s owner, Daniel Jimenez, told KTLA that “my wife and I got Piper in 2014. We rescued her and she was just the sweetest dog. We’re just devastated at the loss of our little dog”.
Mr Jimenez was celebrating his daughter’s birthday on the night of Piper’s death.
The dogwalker texted Mr Jimenez that a “mountain lion attacked and took away your dog. Killed your dog,” which Mr Jimenez told KTLA he thought “was a joke, but it turned out it was real and we were just shocked.”
He said he didn’t blame the mountain lion as it was only doing what it would naturally be doing in the wild. But he added that it’s a public safety problem that residents should know about, as the attack took place in the early evening when many people take their dogs for a walk.
“I don’t want anything bad to happen to P-22,” he said. “I just want people to be safe out there so that nothing like this happens again.”
While park officials haven’t confirmed that the mountain lion was P-22, the animal was seen moving around P-22’s territory and was seen wearing a collar.
“There is no evidence that preying on pets is related to an increased chance of an attack on a person, either in mountain lions, or in other urban carnivores such as coyotes,” the park service told CNN. “Mountain lion attacks on humans are exceedingly rare, although they do occur.”
The service added that if you come upon a mountain lion, you should hold your pet close to you, make yourself appear large, and make noises instead of running.