L.A. Mountain Lion Poisoned

Rodenticide the likely culprit

Apr 17, 2014
Outside Magazine
P-22 OutsideOnline Los Angeles Mountain Lion Poison

A trail camera shot of P-22 in Griffith Park, Los Angeles    Griffith Park Trail Cam/YouTube

Scientists captured the well-known mountain lion of Los Angeles's Griffith Park this week after noticing the cat was showing signs of illness and possibly poisoning. The four-year-old mountain lion likely ate another animal, such as a rat or coyote, that had consumed rodenticide, which in turn caused the big cat to sicken and develop mange.

The mountain lion, referred to as P-22 by the National Park Service, is a well-documented and heavily watched cat. The National Park Service periodically recaptures P-22 to change the batteries in his GPS collar, which they use to monitor his movements and even inspect what he's killed. 

The team of scientists quickly treated P-22 for his illness and returned him to Griffith Park, where he survives primarily on deer and rodents.

After P-22 made the park his home, he was collared in March 2012 and has made a number of appearances strolling through the Hollywood hills. The mountain lion is thought to be from the Santa Monica Mountains, meaning he crossed both the 101 and 405 freeways to arrive at his new home.

Often called "the most urban mountain lion in Southern California," scientists frequently urge nearby residents to leave the cat alone.