P-22’s Journey to Fame and Notoriety
P-22 was a male mountain lion who gained international fame after he was photographed by a remote camera with the iconic Hollywood sign in the background. The photo went viral, and P-22 became a symbol of the resilience of wildlife in urban environments.
P-22 was first discovered in Griffith Park, Los Angeles in 2012, after crossing two of the busiest freeways in the city. He quickly became a local celebrity, with park visitors often reporting sightings and taking photos of him.
Despite his celebrity status, P-22 was also known for his involvement in several incidents involving human and wildlife conflicts. He was suspected of killing several domestic animals in nearby neighborhoods, and there were concerns about his safety due to the high traffic of the nearby highways and the urbanization of his habitat.
Nonetheless, P-22 continued to roam Griffith Park and its surrounding areas, becoming a symbol of hope for the coexistence of wildlife and urban development. His death in 2021 was a blow to many wildlife conservationists who had followed his story and advocated for the protection of his habitat.
The Discovery of P-22’s Lifeless Body
On March 7th, 2021, P-22’s lifeless body was discovered in Griffith Park by a National Park Service biologist during a routine check. The cause of death was not immediately apparent, but there were no signs of trauma or foul play.
The National Park Service, along with other wildlife agencies and organizations, conducted an investigation to determine the cause of death. The investigation included a necropsy, toxicology tests, and examination of the mountain lion’s GPS collar.
The results of the investigation were inconclusive, with no evidence of disease, poisoning, or physical trauma. It is possible that P-22 died of natural causes, as he was estimated to be between 10 and 12 years old, which is at the upper end of the average lifespan of a mountain lion in the wild.
P-22’s death sparked discussions about the need for more research and protection for urban wildlife, as well as the importance of preserving and expanding their habitats. It also highlighted the challenges of coexisting with wildlife in urban areas, where human and wildlife conflicts are increasingly common.
Possible Causes of P-22’s Death
Although the investigation into P-22’s death was inconclusive, there are several possible causes that have been suggested by experts and wildlife conservationists.
One possibility is that P-22 died from ingesting rat poison, which is commonly used by homeowners and businesses in the Los Angeles area. Rat poison contains anticoagulant chemicals that can cause internal bleeding and eventually lead to death in animals that consume it. P-22’s GPS collar indicated that he had visited areas where rat poison was present, and he had previously tested positive for exposure to the chemicals.
Another possibility is that P-22 died from stress-related complications due to his exposure to urbanization and human activities. Mountain lions are solitary animals that require large territories for hunting and mating, but P-22’s habitat was limited to Griffith Park and its surrounding areas due to the urbanization of the region. The park is also frequented by hikers, joggers, and other visitors, which can cause stress and disrupt the mountain lion’s natural behavior.
Finally, P-22’s death may have been caused by a combination of factors, including age-related illnesses, infections, or injuries. Mountain lions in the wild face many challenges, including competition for resources, disease, and injuries from hunting and other activities. It is possible that P-22’s age and exposure to urbanization and human activities contributed to his death.
Human and Wildlife Conflict in Urban Environments
P-22’s death brought attention to the issue of human and wildlife conflict in urban environments, where human activities and development have encroached on the habitats of many wild animals.
As cities expand and more land is developed, wildlife is increasingly forced to adapt to new environments and find ways to coexist with humans. This can lead to conflicts, as wild animals may cause damage to property, injure domestic animals, or pose a threat to human safety.
In the case of P-22, there were concerns about his safety due to the high traffic of the nearby highways and the urbanization of his habitat. There were also reports of him killing several domestic animals in nearby neighborhoods, which led to calls for his relocation or euthanasia.
However, P-22’s story also highlighted the importance of preserving and expanding the habitats of urban wildlife, as well as implementing measures to reduce human and wildlife conflicts. This includes the use of wildlife crossings, which allow animals to safely cross highways and other barriers, and the development of green spaces and wildlife corridors to connect fragmented habitats.
Ultimately, the coexistence of humans and wildlife in urban environments requires a balance between development and conservation, as well as a willingness to adapt to the changing needs of both human and animal populations.
The Legacy of P-22 and the Future of LA’s Mountain Lions
P-22’s story and his untimely death have left a lasting legacy on the people of Los Angeles and the world. He became a symbol of hope for the coexistence of wildlife and urban development, and his death sparked discussions about the need for more research and protection for urban wildlife.
P-22 also brought attention to the plight of LA’s mountain lions, which face many challenges in the increasingly urbanized region. The loss of habitat, human and wildlife conflicts, and the risks of inbreeding due to isolation are all threats to the survival of the mountain lion population in the area.
To address these challenges, wildlife conservationists and organizations are working to expand the habitats of LA’s mountain lions and develop strategies to reduce human and wildlife conflicts. This includes the creation of wildlife crossings, green spaces, and wildlife corridors to connect fragmented habitats and provide safe passages for animals.
The legacy of P-22 serves as a reminder of the importance of preserving and protecting the natural world, and the need for humans to adapt to the changing needs of wildlife in urban environments. With continued efforts and cooperation between conservationists, government agencies, and the public, LA’s mountain lions can continue to thrive and coexist with humans in the years to come.