It’s really happening – the much anticipated wildlife crossing to mark the construction of the now $90m crossing – called the Wallis Annenberg wildlife crossing – will take place on Earth Day, April 22nd. Building of the crossing will mostly happen at night and the project will be completed three years later in early 2025. Congratulations to the National Wildlife Federation, Save LA Cougars, all the sponsors and donors involved.
You can find out more about the development of the wildlife crossing in The Cat That Changed America which you can stream online.
And the book is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
10 years ago this week – on February 12th 2012, P22 mountain lion was discovered in Griffith Park. “It was like finding the Chupacabra!” says wildlife biologist Miguel Ordenana who spotted the backside of P22 on one of his camera traps while doing a census of the wildlife in the park.
Since then P22 has entered our national consciousness and has become our favourite big cat and a bonafide Angeleno.
He has inspired a generation of conservationists, artists, writers and poets with his amazing tale of resilience and fortitude and above all adaptability. P22 is one of the few big cats to live in the middle of a major metropolis.
Friends of Griffith Park has put together an amazing 10 year anniversary timeline on their website and The Cat That Changed America is proud to be part of P22’s story.
The National Wildlife Federation and Save LA Cougars have been raising money for a Wildlife Crossing over the 101 freeway to help other mountain lions like P22. You can find out more about the Wildlife Crossing here:
This wildlife crossing is so important as genetic diversity among LA’s mountain lions is “much lower than anywhere else across California, or anywhere else across the West where people have studied mountain lion genetics,” says Seth Riley with the National Park Service. “There’s room essentially for 10 to 15 adults … that’s too small in the long run.” A report by UCLA finds the iconic cats will go extinct in 12 to 15 years unless their gene pool expands.
You can watch The Cat That Changed America here:
And you can read about his amazing story in a book of the same name to accompany the film:
Find out about the inspiration of the making of the book and film in this TikTok video and please share to raise awareness about P22.
Some of my best childhood memories are of visiting a cozy bookstore off of Grand Avenue in Ponca City, Okla., heading to the bookcase where all the Nancy Drew books were housed on the bottom shelf and then taking a seat on the floor excited to learn if there were a new book in the series and what Nancy was up to now. Books were transformative, exposing whole new worlds. Even in today’s techno-centric, digitized and dystopian world, I hope books still hold the keys to unlock the imaginations and dreams for millions of kids and to learn the wonders of the natural world. And what better time for kids to curl up with some books than the Christmas-New Year break! A recommended read to help kids appreciate the world of big cats is “The Cat That Changed America” by Tony Lee Moral. In this fictionalized account of the real and famous California cougar, P22, Moral chronicles the cougar’s adventures starting with his birth, and that of his brother, and time with Mom in the Santa Monica Mountains, meeting neighbors, including the raccoon, woodpecker, mockingbird, skunk (Mom advises P22 to “stay away”) and opossum, from whom he learns the hard truth. One day he’s going to be forced out of his mountain home! There’s more foreshadowing! Mom and her cubs one day meet Prime. There’s a secret the reader comes to learn about Prime, “the dominant mountain lion in the woods,” according to Mom who also tells the cubs that “there isn’t enough room in the mountains for all of us, especially if you’re a male mountain lion.”
Tragedy befalls the family and eventually P22 is forced to leave his home. He is confronted with many challenges, dangers and, still, Prime, as well as cars, coyotes and rodenticides! But ultimately, after a harrowing journey of 60 miles, P22 finds a new home in Griffith Park in Los Angeles. Moral does a great job of interspersing lots of facts about cats and the problems facing wildlife into the narrative, so “The Cat That Changed America” is both a good read and an educational one.
P22 is a movie star! To celebrate Urban Wildlife Week this coming week and P22 day (October 22nd), here’s a selection of the beautiful posters from some of the screenings of THE CAT THAT CHANGED AMERICA. And if you haven’t seen the movie, you can watch it for only a $1 on Earth Touch https://vimeo.com/ondemand/p22
Happy Fourth of July! Whether you’re spending it by the beach, camping, hiking, sailing or just at home with the BBQ, it’s time to reflect and enjoy our great lands and be thankful we can share it with all wild creatures. Enjoy the holidays! #cats #nature #animals #usa #america #fourthofjuly #independenceday #holidays #summer #fourthofjuly2021 #independence
“The Cat That Changed America” is reviewed in this week’s Atomic Redhead who reviews all things California.