During its many trips out of Griffith Park, the mountain lion known as P-22 arrived in Silver Lake on Tuesday evening, surprising an otherwise quiet residential area.
The 120-pound mountain lion has called the park home for a decade, but he’s been known to roam the Hollywood Hills and even took up residence in a basement in Los Feliz at one point.
Around 7 p.m. Tuesday, P-22 was spotted on Berkeley Circle in Silver Lake, about 3½ miles south of Griffith Park.
The National Park Service, which tracks and monitors the P-22, confirmed that the mountain lion had passed through the area. The most recent ping from his radio collar showed him east of Silver Lake Reservoir around 3 a.m.
“If you see a mountain lion, please give it space,” National Park Service spokeswoman Ana Cholo said. “Don’t try to get a selfie. P-22 has had his paparazzi moments, and people need to realize he’s a wild animal.
Grainy photos of the cougar shared on social media showed him sporting his radio collar as he weaved around plastic trash cans, adobe-style garage facades and narrow streets in the residential area of Silver Lake.
Residents sightings reported and warned neighbors to be aware and to stay cautious if they wandered around.
Chris Blim, who lives in Berkeley Circle, said he was standing in the street talking to his friend when something triggered a light on his neighbor’s doorbell camera.
He and the creature met their eyes. At first he thought the animal was a coyote, but soon realized it was a mountain lion, Blim said.
“We just stand there looking at each other and the light goes out,” he said. “The only thing you see are the eyes, and that’s where the heart stops. It’s not a house cat.
Blim said he took video of the roaming feline on his phone. He and his friend then moved to the safety of Blim’s house, where they knew they would have at least one door between them and the cougar.
“At the end of the day, it’s pretty awesome,” he said. “The whole neighborhood is excited.”
On Wednesday morning, dog walkers and joggers strolling around Berkeley Circle were buzzing with excitement for the new neighbor.
“There are so many questions about why the cougar is here,” Eric Pierce said during a morning walk with his two dogs, El Chapo and Chucho. “Is it because he is looking for a companion, food? Why is he willing to take such a risk?
Pierce’s neighbor Vincent Lopez has lived on the streets for 26 years and said the most he’s ever seen are coyotes roaming the neighborhood.
“I just hope he’s okay. There are so many things that could happen,” Lopez said, noting that cars are often speeding through narrow streets.
“It’s certainly alarming to know that he was just around the corner,” he added.
While Pierce and Lopez were talking, another neighbor called across the street, “Have you heard of the mountain lion? I tell all my neighbors with cats.
Alex Papademas, who has lived in the neighborhood for eight years, has seen skunks, coyotes and opossums on his walks with his dog, Daisy. But a cougar would take those wildlife encounters to a new level.
“We ended up bringing the cats in last night,” Papademas said.
Los Angeles Times