By: Elijah Price
On Thursday, March 3, a mountain was said to have climbed the nine foot fence at the Los Angeles Zoo and mauled an eighteen pound koala. The Australian born koala named Killarney, was one of the zoo’s koalas who would often roam around on the ground of the pen at night, which apparently made Killarney easy prey for the cougar. The big cat was seen on some of the zoo’s surveillance footage late at night and the next morning the koala was missing.
“We were actually surprised that he actually came into the zoo,” said John Lewis, director of the L.A. Zoo. “We have security that monitors the site at night.” The zoo is in Griffith Park, which is in the Santa Monica Mountains which have many predators including bobcats and coyotes.
The cougar, which researches call P22, has a tracking collar and is apparently somewhat of a popular animal in the Hollywood community. The cougar became popular when it was photographed beneath the Hollywood sign and the image made the 2013 issue of the National Geographic magazine. The National Park Services said it’s not for sure that P22 was the one who mauled the koala as the tracking device had a two hour gap that night and they lost track of the cougar for that amount of time. “It could have been him, or it also could have been another carnivore like a bobcat, for example,” said National Park Service spokeswoman Kate Kuykendall.