Celebration of life for P-22 mountain lion sold out; watch livestream instead (2023)

Celebrities, artists, vocalists, poets and wildlife biologists were rehearsing speeches and performances this week to honor the deceased mountain lion known as P-22, the city’s beloved wild cat, in preparation for a celebration of life event at the Greek Theater.

The internationally-known mountain lion with the moniker “Hollywood Cat” will be memorialized from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 4 in Griffith Park’s outdoor amphitheater, a venue usually reserved for live concerts featuring rock stars, notable bands and other performances.



As of last month, all tickets for the free event were distributed. About 6,000 people will be in attendance.

“It’s sold out. At capacity. There is no more room,” said Nadia Gonzalez, spokesperson for the event on Wednesday, Feb. 1.

(Video) All tickets claimed for P-22 ‘celebration of life’ but Greek Theatre

“I am pretty sure this has never happened anywhere in the world,” said Gonzalez, speaking of the unusual event honoring a wild mountain lion. A printed list of notable names in attendance will be distributed at the memorial service.

Performers will be onstage — and so will students who’ve learned from P-22 curricula and their teachers, and artists who’ve crafted murals of the cougar. Also, those who “met” P-22 traveling through their backyards, or tucked in their home crawl spaces, will be on the program.

“We want to emphasize the next part of the story, which is how we can use this for momentum to keep them (Santa Monica Mountain cougars) safe,” she explained.

If you were not lucky enough to secure tickets, the organizers, led by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and its #SaveLA Cougars campaign, will livestream the event on the savelacougars.org website.

Also, 11 brick-and-mortar sites of the Los Angeles City Library system will be livestreaming the memorial service. They are: Central Library in downtown Los Angeles and these 10 neighborhood branch libraries: Cypress Park, Granada Hills, John Muir, Lakeview Terrace, Memorial, Pacoima, Palisades, Pio Pico-Koreatown, R.L. Stevenson and Westwood.

To find the library locations visit lapl.org/p-22 and look under ‘Celebration of Life for Mountain Lion P-22.’ There is no cost to watch the showing.

“It is our opportunity to have people share this moment. It feels like a community activity that people would enjoy sharing,” said Susan Broman, assistant city librarian on Wednesday.

P-22 lived for the last 10 years in the rural hills of L.A.’s Griffith Park, an 8-square mile “island.” He is known for his incredible persistence and nose for survival, having lived until 12, a ripe age for a wild puma.

In 2012, he left his mother in Topanga State Park and in a 20-mile trek he became the only big cat to safely cross two freeways — the 101 Freeway and the 405 Freeway — to settle into his home in the city’s largest urban park.

(Video) Los Angeles' celebrity mountain lion P 22 euthanized due to severe

The male puma is the 22nd one to be studied by the U.S. National Park Service, hence the name P-22. The 20-year-long mountain lion study is still going, and attempts to identify a segmented population of mountain lions living in the Santa Monica Mountains. The NPS team keeps track of about 12 lions in the region but have collared and tracked, and named, more than 100 in 20 years.

Celebration of life for P-22 mountain lion sold out; watch livestream instead (4)

P-22 was sick from multiple diseases after being hit by a car that injured his head and eyes and damaged his internal organs. He was euthanized by wildlife authorities on Dec. 17, 2022, after being captured in the backyard of a Los Feliz home on Dec. 12. Veterinarians said he would not recover from his injuries and it was a humane act to put him down.

After becoming the first mountain lion to live in and around Griffith Park, P-22 hit the big time as a symbol of urban wildlife, bringing attention to the plight of his brothers and sisters who face extinction. He has appeared on magazine covers, in newspapers and on TV news and even had his own Twitter handle (@MountainLionP22; @GPMountainLion).

Today I learned that all cats go to heaven too.

RIP P-22 #P22

— P22 (@MountainLionP22) December 17, 2022

His fame inspired a city, the region and later, the world, to address the plight of these wild cats living so close to civilization, energizing a campaign to build a wildlife bridge over the 101 Freeway, now under construction.Los Angeles and Mumbai are two large cities with wild cats.

“P-22 wasn’t just any mountain lion—he inspired people around the world as his plight, trapped by freeways in Griffith Park and destined to become L.A.’s loneliest bachelor—became a rallying cry for action. Because of his story, the Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing broke ground last year outside of Los Angeles,” wrote Beth Pratt, the NWF’s California regional executive director.

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Pratt added that P-22, whose star power rose after appearing on the cover of National Geographic, has a less tangible but equally important role.

“P-22 also inspired something deeper, for people in Los Angeles and beyond, to reexamine our preconception of wildness and what had almost been lost by thinking we needed to banish nature from our midst in our cities. What a legacy! Given how beloved he was, it’s fitting that the first Celebration of Life large public event for a mountain lion will be held in his honor,” she wrote in an emailed response.

These top-of-the-food-chain predators need hundreds of miles to find food and a mate. But they are hemmed in by encroaching development and major freeways, including the 101 Freeway and the 5 Freeway. Crossing is dangerous and often fatal, while those who stay are subject to in-breeding that weakens the population.

Some scientists call this the extinction vortex, which traps these magnificent beasts and prevents them from breeding, and if they do reproduce prevents a fresh mix of genetic material. P-81, found dead on Pacific Coast Highway on Jan. 27, was the 34th mountain lion to die from a road mortality since 2002, officials said.

More recently, these pumas are dying from rodenticide poisoning that they ingest either directly, or indirectly. So called secondary and tertiary poisoning comes from eating a raccoon, squirrel or coyote that had ingested rat poison. The chemicals move up the food chain, causing immune deficiencies that can cause these great cats to die from common diseases such as mange — a skin rash that if left untreated can infect internal organs.

Vehicle collisions are the number one cause of death for these cats, whose scientific classification is Puma concolor. The mountain lions are being considered for endangered species status by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

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Celebration of life for P-22 mountain lion sold out; watch livestream instead (5)


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