A well-known mountain lion that was hiding in the crawl space of a family’s Los Feliz home “left the building” early Tuesday following efforts a day earlier to coax him off the residential property, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The 150-pound puma, known as P-22, had apparently wandered to the residence in the 2700 block of Glendower Avenue from his home in Griffith Park. He may have been there “for some time” before being discovered, Officer Hoang Dinh of Los Angeles City Animal Control said Monday night.
“We don’t know how long, but he’s real casual … real comfortable,” he said.
Homeowners Jason and Paula Archinaco only learned a the mountain lion was hiding in the crawl space beneath their home on Monday when their alarm technician came face-to-face with the famous puma.
“He came out white as a ghost they said,” Armando Navarrete with the city Animal Services told KTLA.
Late Monday, officials tried to shoot tennis balls in P-22’s direction to scare him away, but he refused to budge.
They also unsuccessfully shot non-lethal beanbags near him and attempted to poke him with a stick as their efforts to get him out of the space intensified.
But by the following morning, there was no trace of the puma. Shortly before 9:30 a.m., the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife gave the all clear, tweeting that the cougar had “left the building.”
Lt. J.C. Healy with Fish and Wildlife later told KTLA that he and someone from the National Park Service went into two separate crawl spaces with a telemetry device, got no signal from P-22’s collar and determined the mountain lion had left.
“We got no signal – so we deemed the situation safe,” Healy said. “What the lion probably did was once it settled down last night … he just took off and took himself back to where he wants to be, which is the park.”
P-22 was later located about a mile and half into Griffith Park, according to a biologist with the National Park Service.
P-22 was first discovered and radio-collared more than three years ago, in March 2012. According to a federal park official, the mountain lion was born in the Santa Monica Mountains, but crossed two freeways — the 405 and 101 — in order to get to Griffith Park.
The cougar was later famously captured on camera strolling the city park with the Hollywood Sign in the background in high-quality photos that were published in National Geographic in November 2013.
More recently, the mountain lion was treated for mange after blood tests revealed P-22 had been exposed to rat poison.
By December 2014, the last time he was photographed, the puma appeared to have recovered and looked healthy again, the Los Angeles Times reported.