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P-22 Found Healthy, In Good Condition After 9 Years Of Living In Griffith Park

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The most famous cougar in Hollywood is still on the prowl in the hills of Griffith Park.

p22 update
(credit: Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area)

P-22, now more than 11 years old, was captured on Feb. 12 so his GPS radio collar's battery could be replaced before it failed, according to National Park Service researchers. Capturing P-22 gave biologists a chance to take stock of the big cat, who weighed in at 123 pounds and appears to be in good condition, officials said.

P-22 became Griffith Park's most famous resident after he was photographed on a hillside with the Hollywood sign lit up behind him. Researchers say he was first documented to be living in Griffith Park after being photographed by a camera trap in early 2012. He was soon captured and outfitted with a GPS radio collar in March of that year.

Genetic testing indicated P-22 was most likely born in the Santa Monica Mountains, so he would have had to cross both the 405 and 101 freeways to reach Griffith Park, where he has been living for the past nine years, researchers said.

"That's an amazing feat unmatched by any other mountain lion (as far as we know)," a Facebook post from the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area said.

Besides his long tenure in Griffith Park, P-22 has been living in what researchers consider to be a tiny habitat – just nine square miles, versus the 150 miles usually required by an adult male mountain lion. P-22 is also one of the oldest mountain lions in the Santa Monica Mountains study, surpassed only by his father, P-1, who was approximately 12 years old.

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