Zoo Safari Park
P-22 on the evening of Nov. 21, 2014, in an image taken with a remote camera. Photo credit: National Park Service

A memorial sunset hike took place at Griffith Park Sunday to celebrate the life of P-22, the Los Angeles mountain lion who was euthanized Saturday in San Diego County.

The community hike, began at 4 p.m. at Charlie Turner Trailhead, 2840 W. Observatory Road, according to L.A. City Councilwoman Nithya Raman’s office.

The puma had become the face of an international effort to save California’s endangered mountain lion population, so was widely mourned following the news of his death, several days after he was captured in a Los Feliz backyard and found to be injured, severely underweight and suffering from other ailments.

“RIP P-22,” community organizer Christian La Mont tweeted Saturday. “He wasn’t just a big cat. He was a symbol of resistance. Resistance to the idea that LA has no wildlife, to development in his own backyard, to dwindling numbers of mountain lions in SoCal. He lived his 9 cat lives to the fullest & captured our hearts.”

Karen Tongson called P-22 “the last, true Hollywood celeb” and added “I’m sorry we couldn’t do right by you in the end.”

Officials with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced Saturday morning that P-22 had been “compassionately euthanized” after a comprehensive medical evaluation showed he had “several severe injuries and chronic health problems.”

After consultation with several veterinary experts, the decision was made to humanely euthanize the animal at San Diego Zoo Safari Park, where he was being treated, to spare him further suffering.

Officials at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County said they planned to update “The Story of P-22, L.A.’s Most Famous Feline,” a permanent exhibit that debuted in 2017, in the coming year, with added stories, programs and more.

The museum also recently debuted a P-22 marionette that allows a performing artist team to further bring his story to life.

“On behalf of everyone at NHMLAC, we are very saddened by the loss of P-22, an iconic ambassador for wildlife in Los Angeles,” said Miguel Ordeñana, senior manager of community science at the museum. “His passing is a painful moment, but we are so thankful for how he created a better understanding of the coexistence of urban wildlife, humans and L.A.’s biodiversity.”

City News Service





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Ellen Bullock