Famous Los Angeles mountain lion, euthanized because of injuries and illness

California officials have announced that a famous mountain lion, who lived in Hollywood Hills’ shadow for more than a decade, was euthanized Saturday due to severe health issues.

P-22, an aging mountain lion thought to have been around 12 years of age, was taken into custody in Los Feliz on Monday. There were fears that he was being struck by a vehicle and had other health issues.

He had traveled along busy roads to become a symbol for campaigns to protect California’s endangered mountain lion population. Officials from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), said that he was taken to San Diego Zoo Safari Park at nine o’clock on Saturday.

Officials stated that tests on P-22 showed “significant trauma to P-22’s right eye, head and internal organs” confirming suspicions of a recent injury such as a vehicle accident.

Officials said that the examination revealed irreversible renal disease, chronic weight loss and extensive parasitic skin infections over his whole body.

The CDFW stated that the San Diego Zoo Safari Park medical team unanimously recommends compassionate euthanasia using general anesthesia.

Beth Pratt was a long-standing advocate for wildlife and had been a champion of P-22 for over ten years. She posted an eulogy for the mountain lion at the National Wildlife Federation site. He died while she was there.

I sat next to him and looked into his eyes. Then, I told him that he was a great boy. Pratt wrote that I had told Pratt how much I loved and cherished him.

Pratt was kind enough to praise his “intrepid spirit and charm” and “just plain chutzpah,” and added that “P-22’s journey to Griffith Park and its life were a miracle.” I hope future mountain lions can follow in P-22’s footsteps without having to risk their lives crossing California’s roads and highways.

Officials stated that P-22 was dying due to habitat fragmentation and habitat loss. They called for more wildlife crossings within urban areas, as well as open spaces and safe places for animals to roam.

The extraordinary life of Mountain Lion P-22 captured the hearts and minds of Los Angeles, and the world. “The most difficult but kindest decision was to humanely end his journey by minimizing his suffering and stress,” said the CDFW in a statement.


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