Five years ago a wildlife camera at Griffith Park, Los Angeles photographed an unexpected animal — a mountain lion! Also called a puma or cougar, the big male cat had crossed two 10-lane freeways to make his home in the park that houses the HOLLYWOOD sign.
Since then he’s been radio-tagged as Puma #22 (P-22) and seen repeatedly on the park’s trail-cams. He was even recorded vocalizing though no one knows what he was saying. (Click to hear The Sound of Our Griffith Park Mountain Lion: P-22 and the Mysteries of Puma Communication.)
P-22 is very shy of humans and stays away from busy areas yet he’s garnered a fan club anyway. His presence has taught Angelenos about the dangers wildlife face and prompted his fans to help him.
Because of the freeways P-22 is stuck inside 8 squares miles instead of the 200 square miles that mountain lions prefer, so his supporters are raising $50 million to build the largest ever wildlife bridge. When it’s completed P-22 will be able to roam and find a mate.
It’s an ambitious project inspired by a mountain lion.
(trailer for The Cat that Changed America on YouTube)