Celebrity Hollywood mountain lion suspected in killing of koala at LA Zoo | News | DW | 10.03.2016
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Celebrity Hollywood mountain lion suspected in killing of koala at LA Zoo

A wild mountain lion living in a central Los Angeles park is believed to have snuck into the city's zoo and mauled a koala to death. The mountain lion named P-22 is somewhat of a celebrity in Tinseltown.

Officials said they believe the wild mountain lion entered the Los Angeles Zoo last week and killed the koala, whose mauled body was found dead 400 meters (about a quarter of a mile) from its enclosure.

Video surveillance appears to show P-22 (pictured), who normally roams in Griffith Park above Hollywood, at the zoo on the fatal night of March 3 before escaping from the scene.

The six-year-old mountain lion is somewhat of a celebrity after a National Geographic photographer snapped a picture of the big cat with the enigmatic Hollywood sign in the background in 2013.

KoalaGehege im Zoo in Duisburg Flash-Galerie

P-22 has lived in Griffith Park, located in the center of the United States' second-largest city, since mysteriously making the journey from a mountain range more than 30 kilometers away.

The koala killing is likely to lead to calls to relocate the big cat, which had an encounter with humans in April when he went missing and was found in the crawl space under a house.

Mountain lions, also known as cougars, typically live solitary lives and shy away from humans. But human encroachment on their habitat has led to them occasionally mauling people.

The animal can weigh up to 80 kilograms (180 pounds) and jump up to 10 meters (30 feet) from a standstill while stalking prey.

cw/sms (AP, dpa)