SAVE LA COUGARS AND THE NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION are celebrating the life of P22 at The Greek Theatre in Griffith Park on Saturday February 4th. Come and join to hear from guest speakers on the life of P22 Mountain Lion.
The outpouring of love for P22 has been unprecedented. P22 isn”t just a mountain lion but represents a whole movement for urban wildlife and the importance of connectivity.
What is very heartening is that many young people have embraced the movement and care passionately about wildlife and P22 such as this response from a young reader of The Cat That Changed America.
We wish you a peaceful, healthy and prosperous New Year with a respect for all things. Happy 2023!
The outpouring of grief for P22 mountain lion of Hollywood aka The Cat That Changed America has been unprecedented. Few animals have made such impact – Shamu the Killer Whale, Cecil the Lion, Koko the Gorilla are a few – now P22 mountain lion following his passing last week joins these celestial creatures in the sky.
There has been widespread coverage of P22’s death by euthanasia following being hit by a car in the Hollywood Hills. But P22 did not die in vain, as he is an ambassador for urban wildlife, the importance of habitat connectivity and co-existence with our wild creatures. You can hear his incredible story in The Cat That Changed America.
We are saddened to say that the decision has been made to end P22’s suffering and help him transition to a better place. P22 was euthanised on Saturday morning December 17th 2022.
There are a few animals in the world which have touched the lives of so many people in the way that P22 did; Koko the Gorilla; Wojtek the bear are a few. Yet P22 was a truly unique and wild animal who beat humans at their own game by living right alongside them, in the very heart of Los Angeles.
P22 was born about 12 years ago in the Santa Monica Mountains but had to leave in search of his own territory as male mountain lions do. He made an incredible journey crossing two freeways, the 405 and the 101, in search of a new home.
He settled in Griffith Park in the middle of Los Angeles, where he became a celebrity after being discovered by Miguel Ordenana on one of his camera traps. Since then he has become an essential part of Hollywood Hills life, famous as Brad Pitt, adored by the cameras with legions of fans around the world.
Ironically, after dodging so much traffic, it was a car which contributed to his demise. When P22 was captured earlier this week, he was very undernourished and had an eye injury suggesting that he had been hit by a car.
There are those who say P22 should have been left to die in the wild and let nature take its course. But the recent attacks on local dogs show that his recent behaviour wasn’t normal and we think that the biologists made the right decision to let P22 go peacefully so we can remember him with fondness.
With so many fans and people rooting for him, we were convinced that P22 would have a happy ending, maybe dying peacefully of old age in his beloved Griffith Park. But his fate echoes that of other mountain lions who are hit by cars.
P22 did not die in vain. He was an ambassador for urban wildlife and reminded us of the importance of connectivity and sharing our space with wildlife. A wildlife crossing is being built over the 101 freeway near the place where he was born to connect the animals in the Santa Monica Mountains with the other side of the freeway.
We love you P22 may you rest in peace. You truly are the cat that changed America and all our lives. (photo credits Miguel Ordenana and the National Park Service)
P22 is currently being cared for at a top facility in California following his capture on Monday. He had to be taken in by the wildlife biologists as his behaviour has changed.
The medical prognosis isn’t good. He is underweight. And he has once again contracted mange which likely means he has been exposed to anticoagulant rodenticides (rat poisons) passed up the food chain in the prey he eats. He has cuts on his face and an eye injury which suggests he may have been hit by a car.
What the biologists are adamant at the moment that P22 is NOT going to be euthanised and may spend the rest of his life in care. Save LA Cougars have also offered to pay his medical bills. Further tests are to be done, including a scan to assess his facial trauma.
P22 is a wild animal, and despite our affection for him, we should not anthropomorphise him. Yet he is an extraordinary wild animal, crossing two freeways in search of a new home and has made a living in the second densest city in America and has stolen the hearts and minds of millions of Angelenos as well as having legions of fans around the world.
“Everybody understands … the importance of this animal to the community and to California. And so if that kind of decision has to be made, I just want everybody to understand that it’s not something that’s taken lightly. It’s very deeply thought about. And if something like that does happen, we recognize the sadness of it,” said CDFW Deputy Communications Director Jordan Traverso.
Following the Chihuahua incident in the Hollywood Hills last month, P22 has been captured and his vitals assessed by the National Park Service and Wildlife Biologists who monitor him. He has been taken to a top facility in California for care.
P22 was first discovered in February 2012, by wildlife biologist Miguel Ordenana, when he was two years old, photographed via a camera trap as documented in The Cat That Changed America.
Now P22 is 12 years old, an old age for a mountain lion in the wild, who typically live for 10 years. But the celebrity lion, has recently changed his behavior and was captured for a medical evaluation. The scientists will then decide what is best for his welfare.
P-22 has recently become more active outside of his Griffith Park domain according to some reports and there is concern that incidents with dog walkers may increase. In the past P22 has studiously avoided coming into contact with humans, avoiding joggers and dog walkers.
“P-22 has always been in an unprecedented situation,” says Save LA Cougars Beth Pratt. “Never has a mountain lion lived in such an urban setting in one of the world’s most populated cities. He is also a remarkably old mountain lion, living well past the normal life expectancy of his kind, and may now be exhibiting signs of distress. Although he has always been impacted by the isolation the freeways caused him, as P-22 has aged, the challenges associated with living on an island of habitat seem to be increasing and the scientists are noting a recent change in his behavior.”
Now Biologists from both the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the Santa Monica Mountains National Park Service (NPS) plan to capture P-22. After a health and medical evaluation, the veterinarians will determine next steps for him.
“P-22 has given us so much,” says Beth Pratt. “He is a beloved wild mountain lion that survived against all odds, and his plight of being trapped in Griffith Park after making a perilous journey across two of the busiest freeways in the country showed the world how harmful our roadways can be to mountain lions and all wildlife.”
What do you think should happen to P22? Write in the comments section. And you can watch his life story in The Cat That Changed America and read the book.