P-22 dying: Closing necropsy of Griffith Park CA mountain lion

World-famous mountain lion P-22 was euthanized in December 2022 after an erratic change in behavior.

World-famous mountain lion P-22 was euthanized in December 2022 after an erratic change in habits.

Nationwide Park Service

Six months after wildlife officials euthanized P-22, the Griffith Park celebrity mountain lion that captured the attention of Los Angeles and the world, those that loved him have some closure.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife and National Park Services released the cat’s final postmortem examination Wednesday, stating his death was necessary due to “multiple severe injuries.”

“The results confirmed P-22 had been suffering from multiple severe injuries and chronic conditions that impaired his ability to function in the wild and would have lowered his quality of life if placed in human care,” a joint news release stated.

The report showed the underweight cougar had recent head and eye trauma consistent with a report of vehicle accident the night before he was captured. Pathologists also discovered he had “injuries with older, significant trauma” like liver problems, arthritis and kidney disease.

The mountain lion was euthanized on Dec. 17 after “a recent change in behavior.” He was transported to the Los Angeles Zoo for examination, then sent to the San Diego Zoo where the postmortem was completed by a veterinary pathologist.

“P-22 was a fascinating animal to study,” said Jeff Sikich, the lead field biologist of the NPS mountain lion study, in the news release. “Not only was he an important ambassador for urban wildlife, but his scientific contributions were also many.”

Officials believe P-22 was born in the Santa Monica Mountains and was one of the oldest mountain lions, according to a study from NPS. He survived “against all odds” in the Griffith Park mountains for 10 years, isolated from others and never reproduced.

“He helped us understand how mountain lions coexist with humans in this complex urban landscape, and his legacy will live on through our heightened awareness of how to live in harmony with wild neighbors and growing public support for wildlife crossings.”

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This story was initially printed June 14, 2023, 3:58 PM.

Associated tales from Sacramento Bee

Jacqueline Pinedo is a reporter on The Bee’s service journalism crew. She beforehand interned on the Los Angeles Occasions and accomplished her grasp’s diploma on the College of Southern California.

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