Tag: fox

‘Ghost Cat’: Famous Hollywood Puma Snatches Leashed Chihuahua On A Walk

P-22, as he’s known to the scientists who study him, is the star of two documentary movies, four books and innumerable photos captured by trail cameras, surveillance stills and the few people lucky enough to catch a glimpse of him.

The 12-year-old mountain lion is instantly recognizable by his radio collar and his derpy, wide-eyed look.

But he’s also a predator, as the National Park Service reminded the public on Monday when it confirmed P-22 was indeed the puma who stalked a dog walker accompanying two pooches on Nov. 9. P-22 struck in full darkness about 90 minutes after sundown, snatched one of the unfortunate pet dogs and was bolting away before the walker even had time to react.

The incident was captured by a security camera in the Hollywood Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, and grainy video shows P-22 leaping out of a bush and pouncing on a chihuahua named Piper. After consulting GPS data from the radio collar and reviewing the surveillance footage, the National Park Service confirmed it was the famous wild cat.

“They are stealth predators,” the National Wildlife Federation’s Beth Pratt told the LA Times. “They’re called ‘ghost cats’ for a reason. This is how they get their prey. It’s not like the vision of lions in Africa that chase down their prey on the plains.”

P-22_2019
A close-up of P-22 in 2019, when he was briefly captured for a health check-up. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

While noting people are “more likely to be struck by lightning than attacked by a mountain lion,” Pratt warned that small pets can resemble the large feline’s natural prey. While P-22 usually hunts deer and foxes near Griffith Park in Hollywood Hills, pumas are also known to take down smaller prey and are opportunistic predators like their house cat and big cat cousins. (Despite their size, pumas — known as mountain lions, cougars and catamounts among many other names — are not considered true “big cats.”)

“It’s sad that P-22 killed a beloved pet,” Pratt told the Times. “But he doesn’t know that. He was just being a mountain lion.”

Daniel Jiminez, Piper’s owner, told Los Angeles’ KTLA that he and his wife are “devastated at the loss of our little dog.”

He said he thought his dog walker was joking when, while out celebrating his daughter’s birthday, he received a text from the walker saying Piper had been taken by a mountain lion. The Jiminez family adopted Piper in 2014.

Jiminez says he wants people to know what happened so they’re vigilant when walking their dogs in the area.

“I don’t want anything bad to happen to P-22,” said Jimenez. “I just want people to be safe out there so that nothing like this happens again.”

Top image credit NPS.gov

Larry The Cat Defends UK Prime Minister’s Home From A Fox

Larry the Cat has been the official chief mouser at the UK’s prime minister’s home since 2011.

Now he should be bestowed with a new title — chief foxer.

The famous tabby was lounging guarding No. 10 Downing Street on a recent evening when a fox approached the property. Larry slow-walked the canid intruder back to an adjacent garden, but wasn’t satisfied when the fox lingered, so he laid the smacketh down to show foxy who was boss.

The thick-headed vulpine interloper tried a third time to get closer to the house, but Larry wasn’t having it.

The encounter was a reminder that Larry can handle business when sufficiently motivated.

Larry is a former stray rescued by London’s Battersea Dogs and Cats and was four years old when he got the job on the strength of the shelter’s claim that he was an excellent hunter who would solve No. 10’s rodent problem. Bringing in a capable kitty became a priority in 2011 when the rats on site became so bold, they’d walk right past reporters and TV cameras outside the prime minister’s official residence and office.

The long-tenured mouser got a bad rep in his early days, when critics complained he “does little besides sleep” and spend time with his “lady friend,” Maisie, while also depositing hair on Prime Minister David Cameron’s suits.

But it’s Larry who’s had the last laugh as his tenure has outlast those of three prime ministers — Cameron, Theresa May and Boris Johnson. He’s now on his fourth PM, Liz Truss.

According to his official profile on the UK government’s website, “Larry spends his days greeting guests to the house, inspecting security defences and testing antique furniture for napping quality. His day-to-day responsibilities also include contemplating a solution to the mouse occupancy of the house. Larry says this is still ‘in tactical planning stage.'”