Fox News reported on Saturday that wildlife officials in California have euthanized a well known Los mountain lion.
Known as P-22, the animal was tranquilized earlier this week in a Los Angeles County neighborhood following reports that he had been hit by a car.
Examination revealed “severe injuries and chronic health problems”
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) subsequently put out a press release explaining that an “extensive evaluation” of P-22 was carried out at San Diego Zoo Safari Park under general anesthesia.
This evaluation “included a physical exam, organ function tests, infectious disease screening, ultrasonography and computed tomography (CT) scans of the skull, chest and abdomen.”
CDFW’s statement noted that the animal was found to be suffering from “several severe injuries and chronic health problems.”
They included “significant trauma to the mountain lion’s head, right eye and internal organs, confirming the suspicion of recent injury, such as a vehicle strike.”
“Based on these factors, compassionate euthanasia under general anesthesia was unanimously recommended by the medical team at San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and CDFW officials made the decision to do so on Saturday, Dec. 17,” the press release continued.
It acknowledged that “P-22 has had an extraordinary life and captured the hearts of the people of Los Angeles and beyond.”
“The most difficult, but compassionate choice was to respectfully minimize his suffering and stress by humanely ending his journey.”
Chuck Bonham serves as CDFW director, and Fox News quoted him as saying at a press conference that P-22’s “prognosis was deemed poor,” adding, “This really hurts…it’s been an incredibly difficult several days.”
“I had moments of hope,” Bonham stressed to reporters. “We pulled out all the stops and there were moments when I thought we would make it.”
Governor calls cat “an icon”
P-22 was an icon. His incredible journey helped inspire a new era of urban conservation, including the world’s largest wildlife crossing in CA. I grew up loving these cats. Thinking of my dad today who was a wildlife activist & taught me about protecting these precious animals. pic.twitter.com/lB43wDOFWC
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) December 17, 2022
Fox News recalled how P-22 was known for being something of a celebrity in Los Angeles County and was affectionately dubbed by local media as the “Hollywood Cat.”
In addition to being suspected in a number of pet attacks, P-22 was also the face of a campaign to build a wildlife crossing over a Los Angeles-area freeway.