The Mountain Lion’s Side: An Interview With P-22 On The Koala Killing At The LA Zoo


November 2014Courtesy of NPS

Posted by Friends of P22 Mountain Lion on Friday, December 5, 2014

A beloved old koala goes missing from the Los Angeles Zoo on March 3, 2016. A grisly murder scene is discovered. Zoo officials check the motion sensor cameras and find P-22, Griffith Park's infamous resident mountain lion, at the scene of the crime. The evidence is circumstantial, but some allege that P-22 entered the zoo under the cover of night and climbed into the koala enclosure, snatching an easy midnight snack. managed to get an exclusive interview with the accused feline to get his side of the story. 

CT: Mr. 22, thank you for your time. I have to come right out and ask, did you kill the koala?

P-22: Honestly, I have no idea how these rumors started. Some animal gets killed and it's all, like, blame the mountain lion. You know? He's got teeth and claws. He must have done it. It's discrimination.

CT: The footage puts you at the scene of the crime. What were you doing there?

P-22: At the zoo? What does anyone do at the zoo? I was looking at the animals. I go when there's no crowd, and it's nice. [Coughs up a hairball that looks suspiciously like koala fur] Excuse me. And I'm pretty famous, so I have to go out at night to avoid getting mobbed by adoring fans and paparazzi.  

CT: The koala enclosure is surrounded by an 8-foot high wall. Not many animals could get over that other than a mountain lion.

P-22: Squirrels, birds, a parachuting turtle, any one of those animals could get over a wall. Could I get over the wall? Of course. But if I did, I wouldn't be leaving with one koala. Do you have any idea how many koalas I can fit in my mouth? A lot, let me tell you. [Begins to pick teeth with what is clearly a koala rib bone] I mean the level of restraint I'd have to have to take just one koala would be astronomical. And if there's one thing I don't have, it's restraint. 

Puma P-22Scientists recaptured P-22 in late March and, after noticing crusting on his hair and skin, treated him for mange. Credit: National Park Service

Posted by Friends of P22 Mountain Lion on Thursday, April 17, 2014

CT: Did you see any other possible suspects while you were near the crime scene?

P-22: I saw a shady looking raccoon, a deer that looked suspiciously nonchalant. I even felt a strong gust of wind that could have easily blown a koala out of a tree and ripped it to shreds. It's happened before. I've seen weirder things.

CT: Who do you think killed the koala?

P-22: Maybe it was a freaking dingo. I mean, no one's going for the obvious solution. Dingoes are the koala's natural predator. Who's to say one didn't catch a red eye from down under, sneak in, and do what dingoes do? Or maybe it was a drone. I don't think anyone has a good idea of what the government is up to these days. Was the koala involved in some shady business? Who's to say? 

Feeding on Mule Deer Nov 2014Courtesy of NPS

Posted by Friends of P22 Mountain Lion on Friday, December 5, 2014

CT: I have no more questions. Mr. 22, I'd like to thank you again for your time.

P-22: Actually, my name's Pete Juanitu. Make sure people know that. I'm tired of them mispronouncing it. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some leftover koala meat at home waiting for me.

Do you think P-22 is innocent? Or is the evidence enough to convict? Let us know in the comments below!

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