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Famed Hollywood mountain lion captured after killing dog

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Los Angeles’ most famous mountain lion, known for roaming across freeways and making a sprawling urban park his home, was captured on Monday by wildlife officials who want to examine the big cat after he killed a dog that was being walked in the Hollywood Hills.

The cougar, dubbed P-22, wears a GPS tracking collar as part of a National Park Service study and is regularly recorded on security cameras strolling through residential areas near LA’s Griffith Park, a wilderness and picnic area.

P-22 was in stable condition after being hit with a tranquiliser dart in the trendy Los Feliz neighbourhood near the park, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) said in an announcement with the National Park Service.

Los Feliz resident Sarah Picchi told the Los Angeles Times that P-22 was tranquilised in her backyard shortly before 11am. Picchi said Fish and Wildlife officers rang at her front gate and said: “You have a lion in your backyard.”

“Of course, I knew it was P-22 because I’ve been following the story,” she told the newspaper.

An anonymous report on Sunday night indicated that P-22 may have been struck by a vehicle, wildlife officials said.

After being examined, authorities will “determine the best next steps for the animal while also prioritising the safety of surrounding communities”, the joint statement said.

“P-22 is a remarkably old cat in the wild and, after being deemed responsible for killing a leashed pet last month, may be exhibiting signs of distress,” the agencies said in a December 8 statement announcing that the famous cougar would be captured.

This photo provided by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) shows a mountain lion known as P-22, transported to a wild animal care facility for a full health evaluation in the Hollywood Hills. PHOTO: AP