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P-22, Los Angeles’ most famous mountain lion, was captured Monday morning in the backyard of a Los Feliz home. 

Wildlife officials told KTLA’s Mary Beth McDade that they started searching the area after receiving an anonymous call that the feline had been hit by a car. They used the cat’s GPS collar to track it to the homeowner’s backyard.

P-22 was caught just days after officials at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced plans to catch and evaluate the animal.  The mountain lion recently attacked and killed a leashed dog that was on a walk with its owner in the Hollywood Hills. 

“P-22 is a remarkably old cat in the wild and, after being deemed responsible for killing a leashed pet last month, may be exhibiting signs of distress,” CDFW said in a news release. “As P-22 has aged, however, the challenges associated with living on an island of habitat seem to be increasing and scientists are noting a recent change in his behavior.” 

The homeowner, Sarah Picchi, told KTLA that she learned P-22 was in her backyard when wildlife officials showed up to her gate at around 10:30 a.m.

“I thought she said she was from a wildlife conservancy group raising money and so I just said, ‘I am sorry…this isn’t a good time. I’m on a work call,’ and she said, ‘No. I’m from wildlife. You have a lion in your backyard,” Picchi said. “I knew it was P-22 because I’ve been following the story like every other Angeleno.”

Despite living in a busy residential area, her quarter-acre backyard has a hillside covered in trees and brush.

“We have a lot of wildlife in our neighborhood and in our yard. We see a lot of coyotes. So, I’m not surprised, but I guess what I was surprised to learn was that he had been in our yard since the night before,” Picchi said.

Wildlife officials, according to the homeowner, quickly darted the big cat, checked its vitals and then carried him away to the L.A. Zoo for further evaluation.

“They seem to think he looked healthy,” she said.

Personnel with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, along with the National Park Service sedated and captured P-22, Dec. 12, 2022, in the backyard of a Los Feliz home (Sarah Picchi).

Wildlife officials told KTLA that P-22 needed to be captured and evaluated not just because of the recent attacks on dogs, but because it has been staying in highly urban areas, which is very different from the cat’s normal behavior. For the past decade, they said the mountain lion had lived in Griffith Park and fed on deer.

As for Picchi, she said that of all the backyards in L.A., she’s glad the famous cat walked into hers.

“Such an L.A. moment. It’s way better than, like…the finale of ‘White Lotus’ was so disappointing, but today kind of made up for it,” she said.