We’re not lyin’ – P-22 was back in the urban Silver Lake, Calif. area this weekend
The Los Angeles Times reports that the famed mountain lion (actually a male cougar) known by his federal wildlife tag of P-22, was back in heavily populated hipster haven Silver Lake, a residential and commercial section of Los Angeles, for a second visit this week. The area is highly urban and trafficked, and is located about a mile to a mile-and-a-half from P-22’s usual Griffith Park domain, where he generally sticks to the high mountain country and is rarely sighted by humans.
While the 12-year-old P-22 can be considered a dangerous wild animal, his celebrity status is unquestioned, and neighbors of the area report his sightings with something akin to glee. A National Geographic photo spread, led to a 2017 documentary, The Cat That Changed America, a museum exhibit, a children’s coloring book, and a mural in Watts, an area even further south in Los Angeles.
P-22 is usually only seen on security cameras in the Hollywood Hills, although one memorable visit in 2015 saw him hole up in a crawlspace in the Los Feliz area, where officials decided to monitor his activities without interfering with his visit. He eventually slipped away without incident.
The National Park Service tracks P-22 and other cougars in the Santa Monica Mountains. They reported a P-22 sighting in Silver Lake earlier this month, stating it was “the furthest south he’d ever ventured since living in Griffith Park.” To get to Silver Lake, the lion would have to traverse some highly populated areas and busy roads. The Silver Lake Reservoir is a frequent jogging/walking path for residents.
On Saturday, P-22 was seen heading northbound on Benton Way, about a half-mile below the Silver Lake Reservoir. Earlier in the month, he was spotted along busy Silver Lake Boulevard before making his way to Berkeley Circle.
The National Park Services advises anyone spotting P-22 to stay calm, hold your ground or slowly back away. Do not run, which would stimulate the need to chase (EDITOR: and remember the old joke about being with someone if you’re chased: “You don’t have to out-run him. You just have to out-run the person you’re with.”)
Also: do not crouch or bend down, which may make the lion consider your stance as prey. You, however, are encouraged to pray if that happens.
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