P-22 Mountain Lion Showing "Healthy Signs" After Poisoning

Scientists found a sick, mangy P-22 in March. They believe he ingested rat poison.

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    New video shows how the once-sick Griffith Park mountain lion P-22 is becoming much healthier after undergoing treatment for a skin disease. Robert Kovacik reports from Griffith Park for the NBC4 News at 11 on Wednesday, June 4, 2014. (Published Thursday, June 5, 2014)

    The Griffith Park mountain lion known as P-22 is healthy and improving after consuming poison earlier this year.

    Scientists discovered P-22 sick and mangy in March during a routing capture. It is believed that P-22 ingested rat poison.

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    Hollywood Hills residents who spotted a mountain lion identified as P-22 described the roaming animal as looking "focused" as he passed by million-dollar homes and luxury cars in the night. Toni Guinyard reports for the NBC4 News at Noon Wednesday, March 12, 2014. (Published Wednesday, March 12, 2014)

    "Local residents may be putting out rat poison, trying to kill a rat, the rat eats the poison. Then say a coyote comes along, and the coyote eats the rat. And then maybe a mountain lion decides you know, there’s not any deer around right now, I’m just gonna go ahead and eat this coyote," Kate Kuykendall of the National Park Service said in April.

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    Wildlife experts say a mountain lion they tagged in the past is now living in Griffith Park. Kate Kuykendall of the National Park Service says the puma's journey to the park was treacherous, and he probably won't stay for long. Beverly White reports for the NBC4 News at 11pm on Tuesday, August 14, 2012 (Published Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012)

    Kuykendall said P-22 is now “showing some really healthy signs,” easing worry as the National Park Service has documented two other deaths of mountain lions from rat poison.

    "It looks to be positive. It’s hard to say for sure, you know, what his long term prognosis is," Kuykendall said.

    Despite the puma’s recovery, it’s possible P-22 could encounter a similar illness.

    "There’s nothing to say he can’t get mange or that he can’t be exposed to rat poisons again because nothing in his environment has changed," Kuykendall said.

    P-22 has called Griffith Park and nearby neighborhoods home for two years after he crossed two freeways from the Santa Monica Mountains.

    After the poisoning of P-22, councilmembers Paul Kretz and Tom LaBonge called for a report on the use of rat poison in city parks. As of now, there is no ban on its use.

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