Beloved mountain lion P-22 could soon be getting a permanent memorial at Griffith Park, the sprawling urban park he once roamed.
The Los Angeles City Council voted last week to create a committee to determine the location and design of a memorial for the famed cougar.
The ad hoc committee of the Griffith Park Advisory Board is made up of city staff and stakeholders who will report back within 120 days to determine the cost of the endeavor, the Los Angeles Daily News reported.
Councilmember Nithya Raman, who represents District 4 where Griffith Park is located, said in a statement she is looking forward to the results of the committee.
“We hope for this memorial to be a place for the community to come together, pay their respects, and reflect on the importance of protecting our environment and the wildlife that inhabits it,” she said.
P-22 was humanely euthanized late last year after being struck by a car near Griffith Park.
Wildlife officials had been searching for the cougar over concerns for his health and after he was implicated in two dog attacks.
The lion was believed to be 12 years old and had kidney, liver and possible heart disease.
P-22 was tracked by the National Park Service, who called him the “Hollywood Cat,” given his territory of Griffith Park and the famous NatGeo photo.
Since his death, P-22 has been memorialized with a mural in the Fairfax District, a commemorative hike and a limited-edition Los Angeles Public Library card.
He even got his own memorial service at the Greek Theater, nestled in Griffith Park.
The famed lion was laid to rest in a tribal ceremony in the Santa Monica Mountains in March.
In a statement Wednesday, J.P. Rose, urban wildlands policy director at the Center for Biological Diversity, said that while P-22 should be honored, a statue isn’t the only way to do so.
“To truly honor our beloved P-22 and other mountain lions, we should expand the ban on the most toxic rat poisons and dedicate more funding to wildlife crossings. These lasting changes would show how much we loved and how much we learned from P-22,” Rose said.
The organization is sponsoring a bill which would expand restrictions on toxic rat poisons that are deadly to mountain lions and other wildlife, Rose further explained. The Center also sponsored a bill later signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom calling for Caltrans to identify barriers to wildlife movement as well as prioritize crossing structures when building or improving roadways.