The remains of P-22, the famous mountain lion who roamed the Hollywood Hills for more than a decade, have been transported to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. 

What happens next, however, is unclear.

Museum officials were joined by descendants from several Native American tribes who led a blessing ceremony Friday “welcome P-22 back to his homeland” from the San Diego Zoo where he was euthanized last weekend, the museum posted to Twitter.

“Right now, we are in dialogue with Native communities, including multiple Chumash and Tongva Tribes, to help navigate this unprecedented situation,” NHM said. 

Southern California’s Native community opposes P-22 being taxidermied and put on display since they consider cougars sacred.

“That’s not our way. That’s a scientific colonial way,” Kimberly Morales Johnson, secretary of the Gabrieleno/Tongva San Gabriel Band of Mission Indians, told the Los Angeles Times. “That cat is a relative to us.”

Instead, tribes are proposing P-22 be buried at Griffith Park, his home since 2012 after he crossed two major freeways from the western Santa Monica Mountains.

P-22’s remains were transported from the San Diego Zoo to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County with NHM Senior Manager of Community Science Miguel Ordeñana, Assistant Curator of Mammalogy Kayce Bell, and descendants from Gabrieleño/Tongva, Tataviam, and Chumash Tribes. Dec. 23, 2022 (NHMLA)

Wildlife officials decided to capture P-22 earlier this month after it attacked and killed a leashed dog and was exhibiting other signs of distress. Veterinarians determined the cougar had suffered severe injuries likely caused by a collision with a vehicle and was also suffering from age-related illnesses.

The difficult decision was made to euthanize.

Researchers were in the process of collecting samples and performing a necropsy on P-22 when they learned about the concerns from the Native tribes, so they put the process on hold to get more feedback, the L.A. Times reports. 

At this point, taxidermy does not appear to be on the table.

“We want to ensure that multiple voices are heard around the respectful consideration of his remains, which includes the clear confirmation that the museum will NOT taxidermy or display his remains,” NHMLA said.