GRIFFITH PARK—The National Wildlife Federation is encouraging animal and wildlife lovers to join them in a day-long celebration for Los Angeles’ most famous feline resident, P-22 – the mountain lion who trekked 50 miles from the Santa Monica Mountains to his new home in Griffith Park, crossing two of the busiest freeways (the 405 and 101) along the way.
‘P-22 Day’ is slated to take place on Saturday, October 22 and will offer an array of activities, including, but not limited to: rock climbing, ranger-led walks, live music, wildlife exploration workshops and even a visit from P-22 himself. A full list of the day’s events can be found here: https://urbanwildlifeweek.funraise.org/#/pages/p-22-day?_k=3z02ab
The festivities will be held in Griffith Park on Crystal Springs Drive (across from the Visitor Center) and are scheduled to transpire between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
P-22 Day is presented in conjunction with Urban Wildlife Week – which was created by the National Wildlife Federation to call attention to the animals cohabiting our urban ecosystem.
A number of Urban Wildlife Week events were held between Sunday, October 16 and Saturday, October 22, including a 3 and a half day, 47-mile hike—led by the National Wildlife Federation’s California Regional Executive Director Beth Pratt Bergstorm—that will emulate the path that P-22 took during his historic excursion.
P-22 Day attendees are invited to join the hikers in the last half mile of their trek, which will conclude just moments before the day’s festivities begin; those interested can meet Pratt Bergstorm and her team at the nearby L.A. Zoo at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday for the last leg of their hike.
“Residents and businesses along the route are encouraged to come cheer on the hikers,” the National Wildlife Federation said in a statement.
National Park Service biologists have been radio-tracking P-22 since they discovered him in 2012. For over a decade, they have been conducting extensive studies into the mountain lions of the Santa Monica mountains, looking at their genetic diversity and issues of connectivity.
“He’s called P22 because he is the 22nd puma we’ve captured in our study,” said wildlife biologist Jeff Sikich of the National Park Service in a statement.
A dozen big cats have been killed on roadways since scientists began tracking them in 2002, according to National Geographic. Pratt Bergstorm spearheaded the Los Angeles cougars – a campaign to raise $55,000 to construct North America’s largest wildlife crossing corridor, which will bridge crossing over the 101 freeway at Liberty Canyon—near P-22’s birthplace. The campaign’s short-term goal is to raise $10 million by 2017. Contributions can be made here: https://urbanwildlifeweek.funraise.org/#/?_k=gh97oh
The Annenberg Foundation announced in a statement earlier this week that it is willing to match all donations for the wildlife overpass up to $1 million.
“L.A. is home to one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world,” said Annenberg Foundation executive director Cinny Kenard. “And so this was very attractive to the foundation to look at the way this particular issue impacts that.”