It’s World Book Day today! Celebrate by ordering and curling up with a good book in paperback or kindle. The Cat That Changed America is based on the true life story of P22 mountain lion and his incredible journey crossing two freeways to reach Griffith Park. We all have a favourite book which influenced us as children and inform the adults we are today. Our favourites were The Incredible Journey, Danny The Champion of the World, The Animals of Farthing Wood and The Velveteen Rabbit. What are yours?
Looking for local ideas or books to read with your kids? The Cat That Changed America features in this week’s Reading With Your Kids podcast. Everything from discovering animals in your backyard to tips for photographing wildlife. We cover the amazing story of P22 mountain lion and his incredible journey to Griffith Park.
P22 mountain lion has recently been caught by wildlife biologists for a routine check and to change his radio collar battery early this month February 2020.
His vital statistics weighed in at 123 pounds and he is in healthy condition. At 11 years old, he’s become one of the oldest mountain lions who has been tracked in the nearly two-decade-long study.
“For an old Cat, P22 still got it going” says the Santa Monica National Park Area.
P22 made an incredible journey from his birthplace in the Santa Monica Mountains, crossing two freeways the 405 and the 101, before settling in Griffith Park. He’s been living in the park since February 2012 at least, where he was photographed on a camera trap by wildlife biologist Miguel Ordenana.
Through genetic testing, biologists were able to trace P22 to his birth place in the Santa Monica Mountains and even find out who is father is.
Since then, he has been tracked with a GPS radio collar by the National Park Service wildlife biologists led by Jeff Sikich who has been monitoring the mountain lions in the Santa Monica Mountains area. P22’s father was called P1, the first Puma caught for the study and lived to at least 12 years old. The oldest female mountain lion in the study is P-19 who celebrated giving birth to her fifth litter of kittens last year. Mountain lions typically live from 12 to 14 years in the wild, so P22 is an old cat now but a healthy one.
“That’s an amazing feat unmatched by any other mountain lion (as far as we know),” says the Santa Monica Mountains post.
Mountain lions typically need very large territories, about 150 square miles of home range for hunting. But P22’s range in Griffith Park is only 9 square miles, though he has a ready supply of mule deer in the park, unfortunately he is trapped by freeways and will never find a mate.
P-22 is also one of the oldest mountain lions in the Santa Monica Mountains study and may he enjoy many more years. You can find out more about P22 by watching “The Cat That Changed America” which is available on Vimeo on Demand. And an imaginative retelling of his journey to Griffith Park is told in a book to accompany the film.
This beautiful medal of P22 mountain lion in his home of Hollywood and Griffith Park was awarded to us by Poison Free Malibu who are campaigning against anticoagulant rodenticides and the devastating effects they have on wildlife. As writers, our passion is tell stories, tell emotional truths, engage and entertain. We write because we want to reach out to our fellow humans and share our world and everything that is important to us. But sometimes its very satisfying to be acknowledged and rewarded for our work. Thank you for reading!
“My favourite part of the story was when he has to cross the busy roads to get to the new park.” – 7 Year old reviewer of The Cat That Changed America
My favourite part of the story was when he has to cross the busy roads to get to the new park.
I really enjoyed reading this book because it is an exciting true story.
It is about a mountain like called P22 who has to leave his mother’s territory as he is now a grown lion. He goes on a long journey from the Santa Monica mountains and through Hollywood to find a park that he can make his home.
This is really scary for animals as the roads are so fast and dangerous. He made a incredible journey that was over 60 miles long, in the end he is happy in his new home.
The true life story of P22 mountain lion is given an imaginative twist for readers as we follow his journey from his birth place in the Santa Monica Mountains to Griffith Park, while crossing two freeways along the way. The book is available to order through your local bookstore, Barnes and Noble and Amazon.
There’s some good news to start the first month of 2021 despite the worldwide gloom.
The three California Mountain lion cubs who lost their homes and were orphaned by last years wild fires have settled into their new home at Columbus Zoo.
The three cubs name Goldie, Captain Cal and Poppy met Jessie a mostly blind mountain lion and resident of Columbus Zoo. Jessie seems very interested in the cubs and is behaving in a maternal manner towards them.
Goldie has proved to be the boldest and has approached Jessie to play with her. Her sister Poppy is never far behind and will follow Goldie as they explore their new home. But Captain Cal is being wary and taking his time to get to know Jessie. Heart warming during these times.
The Cat That Changed America features in Kelly’s Classroom Online. With fun and educational activities for children, this is a great way to get them involved in conservation and find out about the challenges facing not only mountain lion’s but all wildlife. Habitat loss, lack of connectivity and poisoning are just some of the issues facing animals in the wild.
Some good news to start 2021! The Cat That Changed America film is now available on Vimeo on Demand through the distributor Earth Touch.
The film which first premiered at the Santa Barbara Film Festival has been a popular favourite at other festivals such as Green Screen in LA, the New York Wildlife and Conservation Film Festival and the San Luis Obispo Film Festival. The story tells the incredible journey of P22 mountain lion from his birthplace in the Santa Monica Mountains to Griffith Park, crossing two major freeways along the way. It also tells the story of Los Angelenos and conservationists as they raise money to build a wildlife crossing over the 101 freeway. This is very timely as the crossing strikes ground this year.
2020 has been a challenging year to say the least yet there have been incredible stories of hope, resilience and inspiration. One of the most inspiring animal stories is that of the 3 lion cubs which were rescued and found a new home.
The cubs have been recovering at the Oakland Zoo after being rescued from the flames. One of the lions was a weeks-old cub that was rescued from California’s Zogg Wildfire and was brought to the Oakland Zoo’s Veterinary Hospital for treatment and rehabilitation.
The male, nicknamed Captain Cal, had been severely burned and was found limping on a burned-out road in Redding, CA in September. It took 47 days for him to fully heal.
The Oakland Zoo shared a video showing the overnight journey to Ohio. The cubs boarded a FedEx aircraft at the Oakland International Airport.
“Captain Cal and the girls received top-notch service on their early morning journey from our Vet Hospital to Oakland International Airport, and on to Columbus Zoo and Aquarium by dinnertime,” the zoo wrote in a caption with the video.
The other two cubs were unnamed sisters. The sisters and Captain Cal were packaged up and sent to the Columbus Zoo.
The mountain lion cubs were recently transported by FedEx from Oakland Zoo in California to Ohio’s Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
The trio will be introduced to another mountain lion named Jessie who is 17 years old and who lives at the Columbus Zoo.
The three mountain lion cubs are such an inspiring story and illustrate the many challenges facing young animals which are detailed in “The Cat That Changed America” book which was written during lockdown and is available now.