Los Angeles

Tracking Data Offering Clues into LA's Most Famous Mountain Lion's Whereabouts

"P-22’s collar is programmed to log eight locations over a 24-hour period."

New GPS data is giving scientists a better understanding of Los Angeles’ most famous mountain lion’s whereabouts the days before and after he squatted in a crawl space of a Southern California home.

Data showed male mountain lion P-22 left Griffith Park, a place he’s called home for the past three years, at 6 a.m. April 13, the same morning he was discovered underneath a home in Los Feliz.

Game Wardens from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife tried to lure the big cat back into the mountains and nearby Griffith Park. His collar tracked him at 2 a.m. April 14, vacating the residence and heading back to Griffith Park. This was about the same time officials left the residence and left the cat alone.

"After all the hoopla, we're happy to report that P-22 has been spending the past couple of days in the natural and more remote areas of Griffith Park, as he normally does," said Dr. Seth Riley in a press release, wildlife ecologist for Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. "Like most mountain lions, he likes to find a quiet place during the day to rest, but we hope next time it will be in dense chaparral as opposed to under someone's house."

“P-22’s collar is programmed to log eight locations over a 24-hour period,” mostly during the evening hours when mountains lions are more active, Kate Kuykendall said in a press release, a public affairs officer for the National Parks Service.

His collar didn’t record any data points when he was underneath the house, possibly due to lack of satellite connectivity, officials from the National Park Service said. It was also unclear if he had visited the home before, they added.

Griffith Park is approximately eight square miles, making P-22’s home range the smallest of any adult male mountain lion ever studied,according to officials from the National Park Service. The average home range for a male mountain lion was typically about 200 square miles.

In a map provided by the National Park Service (pictured below), the home ranges of three mountain lions can be seen. P-01 and P-16’s range eclipses that of P-22.

The National Park Service started studying mountain lions in and around the Santa Monica Mountains in 2002 in an attempt to determine how they adapted and survived urbanization.

P-22 was treated for poisoning and mange in 2014 and seemed to recover after treatment.

He was also featured in a National Geographic article titled "A Cougar Ready for His Closeup" in 2013. The article houses one of his most famous photos in front of the Hollywood sign.

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