LOS ANGELES (AP) – Wildlife officers managed to capture the most well-known mountain lion in Los Angeles, which was renowned for prowling over freeways and residing in a sizable urban park. The cougar, known as P-22, is tracked by GPS as part of National Park Service research and is frequently captured on surveillance cameras through neighbourhoods close to Griffith Park, a wilderness and picnic area in Los Angeles. P-22, who is thought to be around 12 years old, is the oldest Southern California cougar under investigation at the moment. The average mountain lion lives roughly ten years.
According to Sarah Picchi, a resident of Los Feliz, P-22 was tranquilized in her backyard just before 11 am. In a joint statement with the National Park Service, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife stated that P-22 was in stable health after being tranquilized. Sarah Picchi told Los Angeles Times that officials informed her that there was a lion in her backyard. She further said, “Of course, I knew it was P-22 because I’ve been following the story.”
Wildlife authorities claimed that P-22 may have been hit by a car based on an anonymous report received on Sunday night. According to the joint statement by authorities, they will “determine the best next steps for the animal while also prioritizing the safety of surrounding communities.” The statement further read, “P-22 is a remarkably old cat in the wild and, after being deemed responsible for killing a leashed pet last month, may be exhibiting signs of distress.”
The state wildlife department added, “This is an unprecedented situation in which a mountain lion has continued to survive in such an urban setting. As P-22 has aged, however, the challenges associated with living on an island of habitat seem to be increasing, and scientists are noting a recent change in his behavior.”
P-22 served as the face of the campaign to build a wildlife crossing over a Los Angeles-area freeway so that big cats, coyotes, deer, and other wildlife have a safe path to the nearby Santa Monica Mountains.
“Wildlife needs room to roam to keep animal populations and people healthy and safe. State officials must protect mountain lions under the California Endangered Species Act, and LA must adopt a strong connectivity ordinance, so other wildlife are not doomed to a life of isolation,” said J.P. Rose, policy director for the Center for Biological Diversity.
The officials caught the cougar after it attacked and killed a Chihuahua mix. The dog was was walking on the streets of the Hollywood Hills.
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