The mountain lion that attracted media attention for its capture from its home in downtown Griffith Park in Los Angeles is about to be adopted.
National Wildlife Federation, California Regional Executive Director Beth Pratt issued a statement earlier this week explaining that P-22, the famous lion, has recently changed his behavior and will be caught and tested. A determination will be made about the next steps.
P-22 has recently expanded its presence in high-traffic areas outside of its Griffith Park location. He attacked two Chihuahua dogs, killing one, and authorities are concerned that things could escalate as he walks through populated areas.
“The P-22 has been in an unprecedented situation,” said a statement from Pratt. “Never before has a mountain lion lived in cities like this in one of the most populated cities in the world. He is also an old mountain lion, living beyond the normal lifespan of his species, and now he may be showing signs of suffering. Although he has always been affected by the isolation that has caused him, as P-22 ages, the problems associated with living on a habitation island seem to be increasing and scientists are noticing a recent change in his behavior. “
Pratt said mountain lion experts from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area National Park Service (NPS) plan to retrieve P-22. After the health check, the veterinarians will determine the next steps for him.
“The people involved in his capture and analysis are some of the world’s top wildlife experts who have studied P-22 and other mountain lions for decades. We hope they will make the right decision,” said Pratt.
He added a warning to the public not to try to assist in the acquisition and investigation.
P-22 has lived for over ten years in Griffith Park, which is the largest urban park in the US. That helped him and prevented him. Even if his survival is not challenged by a young lion, as is often the case in the jungle, P-22 is separated by many unobstructed roads that would allow him to reach wide areas.
“The P-22 gave us a lot,” Pratt said. “He is a beloved wild lion who has survived against all odds, and his plight to be trapped in Griffith Park after making a perilous journey through two of the country’s busiest roads has shown the world how harmful our roads can be to mountain lions and. every beast of the field.”
The famous P-22 mountain lion (actually a male cougar), was spotted in the crowded hipster haven Silver Lake, a residential and commercial part of Los Angeles. The area is very urban and commercial, and is a kilometer to a kilometer and a half from the P-22 common Griffith Park domain, where it usually sticks to the high mountains and is rarely seen by people.
While 12-year-old P-22 may be considered a dangerous wild animal, his reputation is unquestionable, and local neighbors refer to his sightings with something akin to excitement. A National Geographic photo spread, which led to a 2017 article, The Cat That Changed America, a museum exhibit, a children’s coloring book, and a mural in Watts, a neighborhood in southern Los Angeles.