Security camera video captured what is likely Southern California’s famous P22 mountain lion during a late night neighborhood visit.
The agile big cat can be seen leaping to the top of a fence and perching in a pose like a gymnast on a balance beam.
The resident who posted the video said it was captured on Tuesday evening. The neighborhood borders Los Angeles’ sprawling Griffith Park, where the P22 Mountain Lion is known to roam.
And it wouldn’t be P22’s first visit to adjacent neighborhoods.
The mountain appears to be wearing a tracking collar. The National Park Service follows mountain lions to study how they survive in urbanized landscapes. GPS radio collars provide researchers with detailed information about the mysterious big cats.
Los Angeles and Mumbai are the only two mega-cities in the world to have felines living within city limits, according to the NPS.
There are around 4,000 to 6,000 pumas in California, but wildlife officials are calling it a rough estimate with no ongoing statewide study. More than half of the state is considered prime habitat for big cats, which can be found anywhere deer are present.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife receives hundreds of cougar sighting reports each year. Few of the results identify mountain lions as posing an imminent threat to public safety, the department said. Cougar attacks on humans are extremely rare and their nature is to avoid humans.
Here is a full list of recommendations from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife on what to do when encountering a cougar:
- Do not hike, bike or jog alone. Stay alert on the trails.
- Avoid hiking or jogging when pumas are most active – at dawn, dusk, and at night.
- Closely supervise small children.
- Dogs off the leash on the trails are at an increased risk of falling prey to a puma.
- Never go near a puma. Give them an escape route.
- DO NOT RUN. Stay calm. Running can trigger a chase, capture, and kill response. Don’t turn your back. Face the animal, make noise, and try to appear taller by waving your arms or opening your jacket if you are wearing one; throwing stones or other objects. Pick up the little kids.
- Do not squat or bend over. Crouching puts you in a vulnerable position and looks a lot like 4-legged prey.
- Be vocal; However, speak calmly and don’t use high-pitched tones or high-pitched shouts.
- Teach others how to behave in a meeting. Anyone running can launch an attack.
- If a lion attacks, retaliate. Research on cougar attacks suggests that many potential victims have successfully retaliated with stones, sticks, garden tools, even an ink pen or with their bare hands. Try to stay upright. In the event of a tip-over, try to protect your head and neck.
- If a cougar attacks a person, call 911 immediately.
- Report any unusual mountain lion behavior to your local CDFW regional office.