Famous Los Angeles mountain lion P-22 euthanized

A Los Angeles mountain lion whose local fame approached that of the city’s movie stars and other celebrities was euthanized Saturday.

P-22, named in a National Park Service study about urban wildlife, was estimated to be 12 years old. He was suffering from a skull fracture, kidney disease, liver disease and a skin infection.

Wildlife officials said a vehicle likely struck P-22 shortly before his death, causing the head injury.

“His prognosis was deemed poor,” said California Department of Fish and Wildlife director Chuck Bonham as he battled tears at a press conference. “This really hurts ... it’s been an incredibly difficult several days.”

Authorities believe P-22 entered Griffith Park, just five miles north of Dodger Stadium, from the Santa Monica Mountains in 2012. He became a mountain lion celebrity in 2013 when he was captured slinking in the shadow of the Hollywood sign in a National Geographic photograph.

Wildlife officials said P-22 was the most urban mountain lion in Southern California, surviving in an eight-square mile home in and around Griffith Park.

“P-22′s survival on an island of wilderness in the heart of Los Angeles captivated people around the world and revitalized efforts to protect our diverse native species and ecosystems,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said.

Wild mountain lions typically live up to 10 years in the wild.

With News Wire Services