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Mountain lion P-22, Los Angeles' famed ‘Hollywood Cat,’ captured for evaluation

Wildlife officials are concerned about the approximately 12-year-old big cat after he is believed to have killed a leashed pet.

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles mountain lion known as P-22 —or the “Hollywood Cat” — was captured Monday for a health checkup after signs of possible distress were observed, wildlife officials said.

P-22, whose home range is in Griffith Park, was sedated with tranquilizer darts in the nearby Los Feliz neighborhood, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and the National Park Service said in a joint statement.

The mountain lion is believed to be around 12 years old, which is “a remarkably old cat in the wild,” the state wildlife department said last week when it announced plans to bring him in.

The animal is believed to have killed a leashed pet last month and “may be exhibiting signs of distress,” it said. The animal was captured around 11:30 a.m., a spokesman for the park service said.

P-22 when he was captured in 2019.
P-22 when he was captured in 2019.National Park Service file

P-22 was reported to be stable Monday and was undergoing additional veterinary evaluation, the agencies said in a statement. He was found through a tracking collar, which was put on him previously as part of a study.

“CDFW veterinarians and NPS biologists will determine the best next steps for the animal while also prioritizing the safety of the surrounding communities,” the statement said. “CDFW and NPS have already been in contact with leading institutions for animal care and rehabilitation centers.”

The National Park Service has called him "our 'Hollywood Cat.'"

"While we don’t know the exact age of P-22, we estimate that he is around 12 years old based on how long we have been tracking and studying him after initially capturing him in 2012," said Ashton Hooker, the acting public affairs officer for the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.

In 2016, P-22 was suspected of killing a koala at the Los Angeles Zoo, which is in the northeastern corner of Griffith Park.

In 2015, P-22 left the park and was found in a crawl space under a Los Feliz home, NBC Los Angeles reported at the time. He was discovered by a home security technician installing equipment. The animal eventually left and went back to the park.

Griffith Park is an area of around 4,210 acres instantly recognizable by the Griffith Observatory, which sits on a peak and affords views of the city. It has also been featured in “Rebel Without a Cause,” “The Terminator” and other films.