L.A. Zoo Wants Mountain Lion P-22 to Remain a Neighbor Despite Koala Death

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A remote camera set up on a fresh deer kill in Griffith Park captured more than 1,500 photos of P-22, some of which were published Dec. 3, 2014. (Credit: Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area)

The Los Angeles Zoo is taking steps to protect its animals from a mountain lion suspected of killing a koala last week but does not want the predator relocated or euthanized, zoo officials said Wednesday.

Instead of asking for the mountain lion known as P-22 to be captured and relocated outside of Griffith Park, or worse, the zoo says it is moving its vulnerable animals indoors at night to protect them should the young male lion find a way through the perimeter fences again.

“It is the zoo’s hope that P-22 remains in Griffith Park,” zoo spokeswoman April Spurlock said. “This is a natural park and home to many species of wildlife. We will continue to adapt to P22 as he has adapted to us.”

The killing of the Australia-born koala, Killarney, gave the zoo the right to have P-22 removed or euthanized by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, which has jurisdiction over the estimated 6,000 mountain lions in the state.

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