The famous mountain lion P-22 was resting comfortably at a veterinarian medical hospital one day after he was safely captured in Los Feliz, but after being evaluated, experts are leaving him with a couple options in his deteriorating health, and neither of those will likely result in him being released back into the wild.
The leading veterinarians and biologists in the world are now constantly monitoring the big lion after he’s been showing signs of distress in recent weeks.
Early evaluations show he is significantly underweight and has an eye injury that indicates he may have recently been hit by a car.
Biologists and veterinarians said they knew something wasn’t right which is why they intervened and captured him on St. George Street in Los Feliz.
In the backyard of a Los Feliz home, Fish and Wildlife officials captured P-22, one of the most elusive and famous mountain lions in recent LA County history.
“I didn’t know immediately what it was but then saw it just a few hours later that they had caught P-22,” said Zeth Ajemian, who lives near where P-22 was captured
Wildlife officials tranquilized the big cat after he showed signs of distress.
In mid-November, he was caught on camera killing one dog in the Hollywood Hills, and attacking another in Silver Lake.
“He’s also been spending more time in urban areas and going deeper into those urban areas, such as Los Feliz and Silver Lake,” said California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Ed Pert.
Initially they brought him to the LA Zoo for immediate examination, and now he’s resting comfortably and being monitored at a veterinarian medical hospital.
“Now that we have a p-22 in a safe place, I hope the community can also ease up and feel like it’s good,” said Beth Pratt of the National Wildlife Federation.
“There is no talk of euthanizing, except for if P-22, after they do the evaluation, looks like he has a really major health condition that is causing him suffering.”
In her opinion, she said there’s really only two options, and neither is ideal for a 12-year-old cat: one is place him in a sanctuary, the other option is release him back in the wild, which she believes will result in a death sentence.
“Relocation for mountain lions is rarely successful. They can either try to go back, and which again for P-22 is a powerless journey, he probably wouldn’t survive that. Or there is no mountain-lion free zone so if you drop a mountain lion down in any territory in California, there is going to be a dominant male there who will fight for territory and at age 12 that’s probably not going to be successful for P-22. He’s not going to be the victor.”
He’s a beloved cat, known worldwide, and after weeks of unusual behavior, leaders are relieved he is safe, as is the community.
Source: NBC Los Angeles