Mary Cummins Animal Advocates Los Angeles California Wildlife Rehabilitation Real Estate

Mary Cummins Animal Advocates Los Angeles California Wildlife Rehabilitation Real Estate

Thursday, December 8, 2022

P-22 Mountain Lion Will be Trapped and Assessed for Health, Behavior by Mary Cummins, Animal Advocates

P-22 mountain lion , Copyright Steve Winter photographer, fair use of copyright for non commercial education. Animal Advocates,Mary Cummins, cougar, puma, los angeles, california, griffith park

UPDATE: 12/30/22 I've done more research into anticoagulant bait and wildlife organ failure. It's most likely a large part of the organ failure experienced by P22 was the result of chronic anticoagulant poison exposure. Even if the poison doesn't kill them directly, it kills them slowly indirectly. From Raptors Are The Solution 100% of all mountain lions in the main collared mountain lion study had at least one type of poison in their system.  

P22's death makes one rethink the collared mountain lion study and wildlife crossings. So far the only thing the tracking study has shown us is that we're killing wildlife with our development, poison, cars and depredation permits. Maybe it'd be better if they died off from lack of genetic diversity in wild open spaces instead of luring them into the city to die by poison, cars, depredation permits... Wildlife crossings will only bring them, lure them in closer temporal and spatial proximity to their death and it won't be an easy or painless death. They'll be poisoned their entire life. I was accidentally poisoned by the same poison. It's painful. You feel sick all the time and are exhausted. We clearly will never stop using poison, driving cars, developing the land or shooting and killing mountain lions for eating a hobby farm chicken, goat or pet dog. 

12/22/22 Update about P22's remains returning to Los Angeles. They were going to go to the History Museum but now that's on pause while they consult with Native American tribes. FTR they were NEVER going to stuff, mount and display him. The remains are at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles county but they aren't doing anything but holding him.

"Miguel OrdeƱana (wildlife biologist who first discovered P22 for the History Museum)
I would like to provide an update about the status of our beloved P22, in addition to some background in hopes to offer some clarity and accountability during this very difficult time. I first want to apologize that local Tribal communities, as well as other communities in L.A., were not proactively included in the permit application to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) for the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM) to receive P-22’s remains, or contacted once the permit was secured. While the intent was to ensure that his remains would not be discarded, I realize the process was not clear or inclusive. The intention has always been to help preserve his cultural and conservation legacy, and gather input from communities for next steps once he was in LA, but I own my impact and am committed to learn from this. Conversations are currently happening with Chumash and Tongva tribal communities about what the next steps will be.

P-22's remains are currently with the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, where he was treated and compassionately euthanized. CDFW and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park veterinarians and staff performed a necropsy following his death to learn more about his condition as part of standard procedure. Resultant information can help conservation of imperiled mountain lion populations. His death and necropsy are painful to think about for myself and many people, especially for those who view him as a close friend or family member. Even as a scientist who appreciates the conservation value of these procedures, I have had a hard time processing it.

The CDFW has learned of the wishes some tribal members have to not use P-22’s remains for research. As a result, CDFW put a pause on releasing him to us or anyone while they reevaluate next steps.
NHM has offered to bring his remains back to LA so that he is kept safely until plans for next steps are finalized. We are talking with Tongva and Chumash tribal communities to determine immediate and next steps regarding the care and treatment of his remains. We would be honored and humbled with the opportunity to hold P-22’s remains during this process.

Thank you for your thoughts and efforts in making sure our goal of honoring his cultural and conservation legacy is done well for everyone who cares so deeply about P-22 and the future of mountain lions in Greater Los Angeles. I hope to be able to provide more concrete details soon."

From Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. 
"We are grateful for the tremendous amount of love and support for P-22 and want to acknowledge how deeply many people are feeling his loss. 
The Natural History Museum’s connection with P-22 began when one of our scientists saw his image on a trail camera that was set up to study wildlife. His time living in Griffith Park was incredibly meaningful because his story further connected L.A. with urban nature and inspired our community to take action for wildlife conservation. His death has affected all of us and we recognize and honor that people are impacted in different ways. 
This has been a particularly emotional and difficult time for our team members who have devoted the last decade to understanding and learning from P-22. Right now, we are in dialogue with Native communities, including multiple Chumash and Tongva Tribes, to help navigate this unprecedented situation. We want to ensure that multiple voices are heard around the respectful consideration of his remains, which includes the clear confirmation that the museum will NOT taxidermy or display his remains. 
We are committed to sharing his story and honoring his legacy and impact on our communities."

12/19/22 People have been asking me about my opinion of P22's euthanasia. I'll reply here.

When I first heard he'd attacked and killed a chihuahua being walked on a leash November 9, 2022 I suspected something was wrong. That is not normal behavior for P22 or any mountain lion. I spoke with big cat specialists. We thought he's probably suffering from rat poison again and maybe someone is feeding him or encouraging him to come closer to humans and pets. I thought maybe he could use some Vitamin K (antidote for poison) and hazing if he could be found.

December 8, 2022 P22 attacked another small dog then later approached a man with a large dog on video. That's when I knew something was very wrong and steps needed to be taken. I assumed he was maybe weak and suffering from the effects of anticoagulant rat poison again. By this time Fish & Wildlife had decided to tranquilize and capture P22 for assessment. Seth Riley and Jeff Sikich assisted because they had collared and been monitoring him for years. We later learned that P22 was probably hit by a car around this time. 

December 12, 2022 they tranq'd and captured P22 10:00 am or so close to the site of the car accident which was Dec 11, 2022 at 8:00 pm. Sarah Picchi stated they captured him at her home. She lives at 2319 St George St, Los Angeles, CA 90027 but the video showed 232* St George which may be an ADU behind the main house. The car accident was at about 4161 Los Feliz at Rowena map here about 2,600 sf away as the crow flies. 

Their initial observation was he looked okay though was missing some fur on his face. They took him in for assessment. At this point we're told P22 actually injured a woman while she protected her dog. She needed 30 stitches. If this were any mountain lion except P22, he would have been euthanized right then and there for this reason. Because he was a Hollywood celebrity the Department would not do that. They don't like being attacked. They've been attacked for many similar decisions in the past which is why they try to relocate or send to sanctuary. Oddly enough it's not legal to relocate healthy nuisance wildlife per Fish & Wildlife's own regulations yet they do it just so they won't be vilified, attacked and protested.

December 14, 2022 after the initial assessment they said he's not healthy enough to be released back to the wild. This is when talk of sanctuary or euthanasia started. As a Fish & Wildlife wildlife rehabilitator we are told the only options for unreleasable wildlife is euthanasia or education in a qualified sanctuary. They will only allow perfect looking specimens for education. At this point I thought the Department was inclined to euthanize based on their emphasis on "quality of life," "he's an old lion,"... At this point I was very skeptical of their assessment. 

December 17 they euthanized P22. This also happened to be my birthday so I'll definitely never forget the day of his death :-( At this point they stated he had chronic kidney, liver, heart disease, missing fur from mite induced mange, eye injury from a car collision and a "hernia." Most older animals will have "chronic" kidney, liver, heart disease. "Chronic" means "persisting over a long time." Our organs are never in peak condition as we age. I thought an eye injury is easily recoverable. I assumed the "hernia" was a genetic condition and probably an inguinal hernia in the lower abdomen. 

I assume all predators in Griffith Park have exposure to rat poison. Griffith Park poisons ground squirrels and gophers in the park and golf courses. So do the surrounding residences. We have treated MANY MANY MANY mammals suffering the effects of rat poison in Griffith Park. We have lobbied for the end of anticoagulant poison for years. I've written a ton of articles about this here. I almost died from accidentally exposure in 2003 while helping Fish & Wildlife cleanup dead poisoned ground squirrels and other animals in San Buenaventura. 

When an animal such as a coyote, bobcat or mountain lion eats an animal who ate rat poison, it suffers the same effects. They bleed to death internally and become infested with mites scratching off their skin leaving infected sores. We've taken in wildlife with mange in the park and all over Los Angeles for years. It causes their immune system to become depressed. This gives the naturally occurring parasites the ability to take over. This is why so many coyotes you see are missing fur. They end up scratching themselves causing wounds and infections. This causes their health to deteriorate. 

The poison also negatively affects the liver, kidneys and heart. The poison CAUSES liver, kidney and heart failure. When this happens wildlife becomes weak and searches for easy meals such as pets. This brings them closer to humans and cars. This is when they are most likely to be hit by a car. And it's not always a "reckless, speeding driver" that kills them. Wildlife don't follow the "look left, look right, look left again then cross the road" rule. They just cross the road. If you've ever almost run into a deer running across the road at night, you'll understand. If there are blind curves in the area such as where P22 lived, the chances of being hit are much higher.

Below is a before and after photo of P22 in 2014 from National Park Service when he was trapped to treat him for exposure to rodenticide. He'd lost 20% of his body weight at that time. He was treated with Vitamin K which is the antidote. They knew he'd be re-exposed when released.

This brings us back to P22's last diagnosis of a hernia. He did not have a regular hernia. He had a diaphragmatic hernia though they didn't state this specifically. A diaphragmatic hernia occurs in animals when they suffer blunt force trauma usually in a car accident. The force of the car hitting the animal forces the organs to burst through the diaphragm ending up in the cavity of the heart and lungs.  Generally the organs are damaged by the force of the impact and going through the diaphragm. It makes it more difficult for the lungs and heart to function. There is also damage to the point of impact which appears to be P22's right eye, head and side of the body. There was also evidence of skull fractures. 

The hernia diagnosis and the below CT scan changed everything for me. If this diagnosis and scan were legit, P22 had no real chance of survival based on his underlying condition, age and other issues. If he were a young healthy animal and his organs weren't damaged in the collision, he could have had surgery to repair the herniation. Dogs hit by car have had this surgery. Alas, that was not the case. He probably would have died within a week in the area where he was found if they didn't capture him. 

The most important take away from P22's death is that we humans caused all of his problems and his death. Our development caused him to be locked in by freeways in the park. Our poisons most likely caused his heart, liver and kidney failure. The poisons caused mites to take over his skin causing hair loss and skin issues. These things caused him to become ill and search for easier food to catch and eat. This put him in dangerous proximity to a vehicle which struck and ultimately would have killed him. We find bobcats, coyotes in this same condition after car strikes. 

We must learn from P22's death. We must be better guardians of our world and it's inhabitants. We must stop using anticoagulant poison. We must make sure development doesn't fracture and lock wildlife in or out of their territory. We must have safe wildlife crossings under, over or around major freeways. Most importantly we must care about the well being of others on this earth. We share this earth with other beings and need to start caring or they will all be gone eventually.

12/18/2022 Video of final Fish & Wildlife meeting about P22. Speakers: Director of Fish & Wildlife Chuck Bonham, Veterinarian Deanna Clifford, Dr Hendrick Nolan, San Diego Zoo, Dr Ed Hurt, Fish & Wildlife, Seth Riley, NPS. People were given ten minutes notice about the meeting. 

Chuck Bonham: (crying) P22 had a number of severe injuries and health problems. Dept approved to compassionately euthanize P22. I've felt entire weight of city of LA on my shoulders.We were making plans to place him in a sanctuary. Over this week we got more and more information. We relied on six vets at SD Zoo and four other specialty vets. Jeff Sikich on vacation. We spoke with elected officials. We put P22 in this environment. We can fix this so they can have freedom to roam.

Dr Deanna Clifford: (crying) We saw some trail cam images where he looked thin and coat was thin. Dec 12 we had reports of lion struck by vehicle. Sikich was able to locate by signal on collar. located near where hit by car. He was captured and we contacted LA Zoo. LA Zoo stabilized and we sent to SD Zoo for their CT scan on Monday. 

Dr. Hendrick Nollens: SD Zoo. We stabilized him to put under anesthesia and did full exam. We saw acute injuries from vehicle strike, fractured skull bone, right eye injury, skin injury, herniation of abdominal organs into chest (my comment:diaphragmatic hernia) . Here are some images.Herniation caused by impact from vehicle strike. This reduces lung volume, breathing.He had preexisting conditions, weight loss, stage 2 kidney failure, advanced liver disease, heart disease, failure, had mites. 

p22, Animal Advocates,Mary Cummins, cougar, puma, los angeles, california, griffith park
P22, Animal Advocates,Mary Cummins, cougar, puma, los angeles, california, griffith park

I put the photos side by side.

P22, Animal Advocates,Mary Cummins, cougar, puma, los angeles, california, griffith park
, ct scan, xray, hernia, organs, lungs, heart, diaphragm, liver, kidney, mountain lion

Seth Riley: (crying) P22 has an extraordinary legacy.

Chuck Bonham: (crying)I know my decision is causing a lot of pain right now. I'm really sorry for the pain. I hope people can find hope. I felt the weight of the city on my shoulders this week. We must do better for these animals. 6:45-13:06 then 33:08-34:30.

Chuck Bonham, Director California Department of Fish & Wildlife


(Not a speaker) Beth Pratt: (wanted to ask a question and was on mute but found a way to unmute herself. People wanting to ask questions were supposed to do so via writing in chat only). Let's make it right so it doesn't happen again. 

Dr D Clifford: Clotting times were normal, not clinically ill from rodenticide toxicity at that time. Post mortem tests more reliable.

P22 went to sleep at 9:00 am.

His body will be used for science. He will come back to LA and the LA History museum. 

12/17/2022 As we sadly predicted P22 has been euthanized :-( He had injuries and illness. He was euthanized this morning at the San Diego Zoo. 

"The trauma to his internal organs would require invasive surgical repair," officials said.

Wildlife officials said P-22 also had several pre-existing illnesses, including irreversible kidney disease, chronic weight loss, extensive parasitic skin infection over his entire body and localized arthritis.

"P-22's advanced age, combined with chronic, debilitating, life-shortening conditions and the clear need for extensive long-term veterinary intervention left P-22 with no hope for a positive outcome," officials said. 

12/15/2022 Seems when P22 attacked another dog December 8 he ended up injuring a woman who got 30 stitches. Below are the reports. Fish & Wildlife can't release "nuisance" wildlife legally. The main reason is legal liability. If they know an animal is causing personal injury or damage, they could be legally liable. Hopefully P22 can go to a sanctuary and happily live out his life. Still waiting for medical and behavior assessment results.

12/14/2022 Wildlife officials have stated that P22 will not be released back to the wild.Nuisance wildlife cannot legally be released back to the wild. He will either go to sanctuary or be euthanized if his condition is fatal.

Official update from Fish & Wildlife 30 minute Zoom video.

Worst moderator ever! She gave questions to the speakers which were previously answered. The moderator's job is to weed out repeat questions. Jordan Traverso Ashton Hooker is another media contact

Ed Pert, Regional Manager, Fish Wildlife CDFW: Concerning behavior near humans and dogs on leash with people. One human was injured. He's recently been in Los Feliz, Silver Lake urban areas instead of deeper in the park. 

Deana Clifford DFW Veterinarian Biologist: Results of initial health examination. Underweight, thin fur coat consistent with anticoagulant bait poisoning, right eye injury consistent with hit by car. Gave fluids, anti-inflams, antibiotic, antiparasitic. Waiting for some lab results.

Jeff Sikich, NPS:  Seth Riley, NPS: History of P22.

Ed Pert: Outcome won't be released back into wild in his current condition. Trying to leave everything on the table. Will try to find good sanctuary. Wild adult male mountain lions don't do well in captivity.Will have to evaluate. If health assessment very poor, will consider euthanasia.

Deana Clifford: Follow up exam is next with CT scan for eye injury. Planned later this week. May take few weeks to fully understand all issues. Multiple labs pending 2-5 days. We're also monitoring his behavior. P22 is older especially for male in the wild. He's 12 years old.

Seth Riley: First time where we captured an animal and brought in for health assessment. We have treated some lions for mange in the past in the field, including P22. 

Deana Clifford: Kidney failure, cancer, more significant trauma, head trauma would cause us to euthanize him. That's why we're doing a CT scan. Old cats get old cat diseases. 

Ed Pert: A team of people will help us make the final decision, NPS, F&W, Director, Veterinarians, maybe outside people. Someone reported mountain lion hit by car at Los Feliz Blvd and Rowena car accident with mountain lion. P22 was very close to that area at the time but not positive it was him.(there are no other big cats in that area!)

Deana Clifford: Don't want to release where P22 is located today because don't want to be distracted. 

Seth Riley: P22 didn't run when we darted him. He stayed in the same place. 

12/13/2022 So far we know he has mange which is common for predator mammals in this area.They use a lot of rodenticide to kill gophers and ground squirrels in Griffith Park. It works its way up the food chain. 

12/12/2022 P22 has been tranquilized and captured. He will undergo a health and behavioral evaluation. So far he looks okay.

P22 captured in a Los Feliz backyard.

ORIGINAL: We were actually just talking with mountain lion experts about P-22's behavior after he killed the chihuahua. We were talking about trying to find out why he would attack a tiny dog. Is he hungry, sick, injured, have people been feeding him, should he be hazed? Wildlife Officials have decided to trap and assess P22. We will keep you updated on the status. 

If he is dying, they will euthanize him. Because he attacked a chihuahua near humans, he can't legally be released. It's illegal to released nuisance wildlife. If he's just getting older, he could legally go to a sanctuary if the powers that be believe it's in his best interest. We have many big cat sanctuaries in California. Some of them have very large enclosures that consist of many acres. 

"The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and National Park Service (NPS) announced plans today to capture the world-famous mountain lion P-22 and bring him in for a health evaluation. Following that evaluation, CDFW veterinarians and NPS biologists will determine the best next steps for the animal while also prioritizing the safety of the surrounding communities.

P-22 has been reported near human dwellings close to his habitat in Griffith Park. Reports include sightings, video camera recordings and physical encounters with the lion. P-22 is a remarkably old cat in the wild and, after being deemed responsible for killing a leashed pet last month, may be exhibiting signs of distress.

This is an unprecedented situation in which a mountain lion has continued to survive in such an urban setting. As P-22 has aged, however, the challenges associated with living on an island of habitat seem to be increasing and scientists are noting a recent change in his behavior. This underscores the consequences of a lack of habitat connectivity for mountain lions and all wildlife.

CDFW and NPS do not require assistance to capture and evaluate P-22 and ask that members of the public refrain from any involvement in the effort.

CDFW and NPS have long partnered together on issues related to P-22 and have been involved with him most of his life. Both agencies are actively monitoring the situation and evaluating the most humane options available for a plan of action for the lion and the community in which he lives."




Pics of me with P22 at the groundbreaking for the Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing.

Mary Cummins, Animal Advocates, p22, mountain lion, puma, cougar, los angeles, california, wildlife rehabilitation, wildlife, wildlife rescue, @animaladvusa @marycummins
Mary Cummins, Animal Advocates, p22, mountain lion, puma, cougar, los angeles, california, wildlife rehabilitation, wildlife, wildlife rescue, @animaladvusa @marycummins 

Mary Cummins, Animal Advocates, p22, mountain lion, puma, cougar, los angeles, california, wildlife rehabilitation, wildlife, wildlife rescue, @animaladvusa @marycummins
Mary Cummins, Animal Advocates, p22, mountain lion, puma, cougar, los angeles, california, wildlife rehabilitation, wildlife, wildlife rescue, @animaladvusa @marycummins 

Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates is a wildlife rehabilitator licensed by the California Department of Fish and Game and the USDA. Mary Cummins is also a licensed real estate appraiser in Los Angeles, California.

Google+ Mary Cummins, Mary K. Cummins, Mary Katherine Cummins, Mary Cummins-Cobb, Mary, Cummins, Cobb, wildlife, wild, animal, rescue, wildlife rehabilitation, wildlife rehabilitator, fish, game, los angeles, california, united states, squirrel, raccoon, fox, skunk, opossum, coyote, bobcat, manual, instructor, speaker, humane, nuisance, control, pest, trap, exclude, deter, green, non-profit, nonprofit, non, profit, ill, injured, orphaned, exhibit, exhibitor, usda, united states department of agriculture, hsus, humane society, peta, ndart, humane academy, humane officer, animal legal defense fund, animal cruelty, investigation, peace officer, animal, cruelty, abuse, neglect #marycummins #animaladvocates #losangeles #california #wildlife #wildliferehabilitation #wildliferehabilitator #realestate #realestateappraiser #realestateappraisal #lawsuit

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