‘Stillz got it going on’: Now 11, Hollywood mountain lion P-22 found in good health after capture

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Mountain lion P-22 is seen is in a photo released by the National Park Service on Feb. 18, 2021. (NPS / Jeff Sikich)

Mountain lion P-22 is seen is in a photo released by the National Park Service on Feb. 18, 2021. (NPS / Jeff Sikich)

A mountain lion who is perhaps Griffith Park’s most well-known resident is alive and looking healthy.

The now 11-year-old “Hollywood cat” known as P-22 was recently captured by National Park Service biologists for a battery change on his GPS collar, which tracks his movements as part of a landmark study of pumas in and around the Santa Monica Mountains.

“For an old cat, P-22 stillz got it going on!” a post on the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area’s Facebook read Thursday.

The puma weighs about 123 pounds, similar to his past capture weights, and appeared to be in good condition, officials said.

At 11 years old, he’s become one of the oldest mountain lions documented in the nearly two-decade-long study. His father, P-1, was the oldest at approximately 12 years old, according to the National Park Service.

The most senior female puma in the study currently is P-19, who gave birth to what’s believed to have been her fifth litter of kittens last year.

P-22 has resided in Griffith Park since at least February 2012, when he was first photographed in the sprawling municipal park located at the eastern flank of the Santa Monica Mountains. He was likely born elsewhere on the range, according to genetic testing, meaning he crossed both the 405 and 101 freeways to reach his current living space

“That’s an amazing feat unmatched by any other mountain lion (as far as we know),” the Facebook post read.

While most adult male mountain lions generally require a home range of about 150 square miles, P-22’s territory is comparatively tiny — just 9 square miles. In 2019, wildlife officials described his habitat as the smallest recorded range of any adult male puma studied.

The big cat rose to fame after a series of high-quality photos published by National Geographic in November 2013 showed him strolling the park at night with the iconic Hollywood Hills sign in the background.

A few years later, Oct. 22 was declared P-22 Day by the Los Angeles City Council.

And for the past five years, he’s been celebrated around that date during the annual P-22 Day Festival. Normally the event is held in Griffith Park, though last year’s festivities were entirely virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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