6HWbNHN-show-poster2x3-c7tgE2Y.png

Artbound

Start watching
MJ250sC-show-poster2x3-Bflky7i.png

Tending Nature

Start watching
Southland Sessions

Southland Sessions

Start watching
HvlSxHY-show-poster2x3-4ik43uV.png

Earth Focus

Start watching
5LQmQJY-show-poster2x3-MRWBpAK.jpg

Reporter Roundup

Start watching
City Rising

City Rising

Start watching
Lost LA

Lost LA

Start watching
Member
Your donation supports our high-quality, inspiring and commercial-free programming.
Support Icon
Learn about the many ways to support KCET.
Support Icon
Contact our Leadership, Advancement, Membership and Special Events teams.

Griffith Park Mountain Lion's Health Improves

Support Provided By
P22_05_11_2014-thumb-600x450-75182
P-22 in early May 2014 | Photo: Griffith Park Connectivity Study

There's some good news for those worried about the ailing Los Angeles mountain lion P-22, whose health took a hit after the animal contracted a bad case of mange linked to ingesting rodent poisons. The big cat's doing better, at least for the time being, after a bit of veterinary care.

Our colleague Jed Kim over at KPCC broke the happy news yesterday: footage from the Griffith Park Connectivity Study's trail cameras shows that after his capture and treatment in March, P-22's mange symptoms seem to have lessened and he's apparently gaining weight again. That's very good news for a cat afflicted with a disease that interferes with hunting.

In footage captured last week, P-22 displays a much healthier coat of fur, strong evidence that the disease -- which causes intense irritation, scratching, scabbing, and dehydration -- has lessened significantly. Though he's not out of the woods yet -- said woods still being full of carelessly used rat poisons and the animals who consume it -- it's promising news not only for P-22 and his admirers, but for those hoping to treat other wildlife for rodenticide-related mange.

Scientists don't quite understand why mountain lions and bobcats exposed to anticoagulant rat poisons seem to become more susceptible to mange, a disease caused by mite infestation. But there is a solid link, and until anticoagulant rat poisons are removed from the market the threat will continue.

A dozen formulations of over-the-counter anticoagulant rodenticides will be taken off the market next year, but that move, the result of a settlement between the EPA and the manufacturer of d-Con brand products, doesn't address other anticoagulant household rodenticides, nor the burgeoning agricultural and exterminator market.

The rodenticides detected in P-22's blood in March would not be affected by the removal of the d-Con products, according to KPCC.

The threat to bobcats and pumas comes when the cats eat animals that have consumed the rat poisons, which don't readily break down after being consumed. And since the poisons, applied as attractive baits, don't kill particularly quickly, a rodent or other animal might consume several times the amount of poison needed for a lethal dose before dying -- delivering that dose almost unimpaired to any animal that happens to eat it.

And as Griffith Park Connectivity Study wildlife biologist Miguel Ordeñana told KPCC's Kim, once you treat an animal for rodenticide poisoning there's no guarantee they won't go out and consume more.

"Even though he looks better and healthy looking compared to early on a couple months ago, it still doesn't mean he can't get it all over again," Ordeñana told KPCC. "It's still important for the future of P-22 and other wildlife that we stop putting these poisons out there."

But that's the bad news. Here's the good news from the Griffith Park Connectivity Study's trail cams, via KPCC's Vimeo account. First, a video taken shortly after P-22's veterinary encounter. He's still getting around, but he looks a patchy mess:


And again in late May, looking a lot better and with his fur grown back.


What's P-22 living on as he recovers? Another video from late May shows him taking an unfortunate raccoon out for dinner:


Support Provided By
Read More
A patient suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) receives oxygen inside an ambulance after she was evacuated from the Vijay Vallabh hospital, which caught fire in Virar, on the outskirts of Mumbai, India, April 23, 2021.

'Losing Hope': India's COVID-19 Meltdown Exposes New Front in Digital Divide

As desperate relatives post pleas for help and information on Twitter, those without access to the internet struggle with inundated phone lines and overburdened hospitals.
Two young Black men in suits pose together and smile at the camera.

'COVID Is a Wake-Up Call': Black Entrepreneurs Aim to Level Playing Field

Black-led social entrepreneurs in the United States and Britain are tackling inequalities highlighted by COVID-19.
A patient wearing an oxygen mask is wheeled inside a COVID-19 hospital for treatment, amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Ahmedabad, India, April 21, 2021.

Beg, Borrow, Steal': The Fight for Oxygen Among New Delhi's Hospitals

Medical staff are facing life-or-death scrambles to get scarce oxygen supplies as COVID-19 cases surge.