Los Angeles celebrity mountain lion P-22 euthanized due to severe injuries

Officials said P-22 had several severe injuries and chronic health problems.

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Saturday, December 17, 2022
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P-22, Griffith Park's famed mountain lion who was captured this week for a health assessment, has been euthanized, wildlife officials announced.

LOS ANGELES -- P-22, Griffith Park's famed mountain lion in Los Angeles who was captured this week for a health assessment, has been euthanized, wildlife officials announced.

According to the California Department of Wildlife and Fish, P-22 had several severe injuries and chronic health problems.

Wildlife experts said the mountain lion was severely underweight and may have recently been struck by a vehicle.

"Based on these factors, compassionate euthanasia under general anesthesia was unanimously recommended by the medical team at San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and CDFW officials made the decision to do so on Saturday, Dec. 17," read a statement issued by CDFW.

Officials said P-22 was evaluated by the Safari Park's wildlife health team in which he underwent a physical exam, organ function tests and an infectious disease screening. They also conducted (CT) scans of his skull, chest and abdomen.

"The trauma to his internal organs would require invasive surgical repair," officials said.

Wildlife officials said P-22 also had several pre-existing illnesses, including irreversible kidney disease, chronic weight loss, extensive parasitic skin infection over his entire body and localized arthritis.

"P-22's advanced age, combined with chronic, debilitating, life-shortening conditions and the clear need for extensive long-term veterinary intervention left P-22 with no hope for a positive outcome," officials said. "His poor condition indicated that he may also have had additional underlying conditions not yet fully characterized by diagnostics."

P-22 made headlines in recent weeks for apparent attacks on a pair of dogs. The cat was blamed for killing a leashed dog in the Hollywood Hills and attacking another a week ago in the Silver Lake area.

READ MORE | Dog owner fights off attack on pet by mountain lion P-22 in Silver Lake

The lion, one of many Southland-area cats tracked by National Park Service researchers, gained fame locally for his persistence and durability, successfully managing to cross both the 405 and 101 freeways to reach his current roaming grounds in the Griffith Park area.

Known as the "Hollywood Cat," P-22 was the face of the NPS' lion-tracking effort. His exploits have been documented in various media accounts, particularly for some of his more notable exploits -- crossing a pair of freeways, hiding out under a Los Feliz home in a standoff that drew widespread media attention and even being named a suspect in the killing of a koala at the Los Angeles Zoo.

He was believed to be about 12 years old. He was initially captured and outfitted with a tracking collar in 2012. At the time of his last capture, he weighed 123 pounds.