He rose to fame after being papped in front of the Hollywood sign, but the cougar snappily known as P-22 might not have won any new fans following his latest exploits in downtown Los Angeles. It appears that P-22 is the prime suspect in a grisly crime to have taken place in Los Angeles Zoo on March 3.
Zookeepers started work only to find that one of the zoo’s marsupials, a koala by the name of Killarney, was missing from her enclosure. Not far from her cage, the keepers found a suspicious tuft of hair, and following the morbid trail eventually stumbled upon the mauled remains of the poor Australian mammal. Baffled by what could be the cause, the staff turned to the series of remote camera traps set up around the zoo, and homed in on their culprit.
— Maria Fotopoulos (@TurboDog50) April 17, 2015
While the act of the killing was not actually caught on camera, the keepers found that P-22 was the likely perp, as he was recorded sneaking around the grounds during the fateful night. Not only that, but it seems he might even have spent time scoping out the zoo as he was also seen prowling around the night before. “The evidence is circumstantial. We don’t have any video of it taking the koala. We can’t say 100 percent,” John Lewis, the director of L.A. Zoo told The L.A Times.
How he’s been possibly managing to get in and out of the zoo is not known, but it would seem he must have jumped a 2.5-meter (8-foot) fence to get in before taking the 14-year-old marsupial. Unfortunately for the koala, her habit of sitting on the ground at night might not have done her any favors.
For now, the other 10 koalas at the zoo are being kept indoors at night for fear of a repeat attack, while P-22 remains at large in the 16 square kilometers (6 square miles) Griffiths Park adjacent to the zoo where he has made his home.