LOS ANGELES — P-22, celebrity mountain lion and Griffith Park’s most wanted big cat, was captured Monday morning in a Los Feliz backyard, the homeowner told The Times.
Resident Sarah Picchi said the lion was caught near Franklin Avenue and St. George Street in the Franklin Hills area.
P-22 had been sought for evaluation by the National Park Service and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife after “exhibiting some signs of distress” in recent weeks, including killing a leashed Chihuahua and attacking another dog.
Picchi was on a work call around 10:50 a.m. when she heard someone buzz at her front gate stating they were with “something wildlife.”
Thinking they were canvassing for a wildlife charity, Picchi told them it was not a good time.
“The woman said, ‘No, I’m with Wildlife. You have a lion in your backyard,’ “ Picchi said in an interview with The Times. “Of course, I knew it was P-22 because I’ve been following the story.”
Picchi then opened her front gate, letting in the wildlife personnel, who told her to keep herself and her dog inside their home while officers attempted to sedate P-22 with a dart.
Photos and videos shot by Picchi show Fish and Wildlife and National Park Service personnel carrying the large, sedated feline in a green blanket and examining him before loading him into a wildlife crate and putting the crate in the back of a truck.
Picchi was told that P-22 had been in her backyard since the night before.
“We have a quarter of an acre and there are a lot of trees. I think he was just resting down there,” she said. “He looked healthy.”
The National Park Service did not immediately responded to requests for comment.