Scientists track cougar in Hollywood

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For more than a year and a half, the solitary mountain lion known as P-22 has made himself right at home in Griffith Park within view of Hollywood’s Capitol Records building.

By night, he cruises the chaparral-covered canyons, dining on mule deer, raccoon and coyote. By day, while tots ride the Travel Town train and hikers hit the trails, he hunkers down amid dense vegetation.

To researchers’ knowledge, the 125-pound 4-year-old is the most urban mountain lion in Southern California and possibly beyond — surviving and thriving in a small patch of habitat surrounded by freeways and densely packed human beings that he reached, somewhat miraculously, by crossing the 101 and 405 freeways.

P-22 is giving scientists insight into the life and eating habits of a puma on the prowl. And he is serving as an unwitting but alluring subject for a National Geographic wildlife photographer whose trail cameras have captured jaw-dropping nighttime shots of the animal, including one that features the Hollywood sign.

“He has it quite easy for a young lion in Griffith Park,” said Jeff Sikich, a National Park Service biologist tracking P-22. “There’s no competition, and there seems to be plenty of prey for him.”

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Source: The L.A. Time

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