The Life of P-22: LA’s Famous Mountain Lion

The Life of P-22: LA’s Famous Mountain Lion

Dania Legido, Editor


P22 was a famous and beloved mountain lion who lived in the hills of Griffith Park in LA. P22 lived in Santa Monica before arriving at Griffith Park; but in order to make it he needed to pass through the freeways 101 and 405 before deciding that Griffith Park was a suitable home. It was unusual as Griffith Park has less space than what an adult puma requires; so it didn’t take long for people to notice him. Soon enough he was under the watchful eye of scientists. They made sure to give him check ups and ensure his health was as best as can be. Unfortunately P22 passed away Dec. 17, 2022.

P22 was born around 2010 his parents were P-001 and another unknown female mountain lion. He arrived at Griffith Park sometime before 2012. Soon enough he was discovered after being recorded by cameras placed around the mountain. Scientists who work at The National Park Service  placed the cameras to study the movement of mammals. In March of 2012 he was captured by a man named Jeff Sikich; later on he was given a collar that would allow the scientists to track him. 

In 2014 he got ill due to consuming rat poisoning and the scientists captured him again and did their best to treat him with the proper medication. In 2015 P-22 fully recovered and was a healthy wild mountain lion once more. In 2016 the Los Angeles Zoo lost a koala named Killarney, the camera footage showed P-22 nearby when this occurred. However the tracker the scientists had put on P-22 showed that the two mammals had never interacted with each other. The LA City Council called for P-22 to be relocated but eventually the project was shut down as the zoo agreed to upgrade security. 

For years after P-22 lived a relatively peaceful life. Throughout the years the National Park Service would recapture him to check on his health and then release him if he was healthy. In December of 2022 they recaptured him for the last time. They found that he was in bad condition and decided to euthanize him. P-22 lived a wonderful life and inspired many people to help protect our wildlife and their habitats. P-22 and the impact he made will never be forgotten.


‘He changed us’: the remarkable life of celebrity mountain lion P-22 by Katharine Gammon

The legacy of Hollywood mountain lion P-22 lives on in wildlife conservation efforts by Rachel Treisman

Image Credits: 

AP News | Image by Steve Winter