P-22 Mountain Lion Showing “Healthy Signs” After Poisoning

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

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.

"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.

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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