P22 - LA's Most Famous Mountain Lion

P-22 is alive and well and living in Los Feliz

In the northern end of Los Feliz lies Griffith Park, the second largest urban park in California with over 4,000 acres of land. The park is home to only one mountain lion known as P-22 and it was originally spotted in the surrounding park area around February 2012. The lion is suspected to have arrived from nearby Santa Monica Mountains, which meant it would have had to travel over 20 miles with some of that distance across highways 101 and 405.

Within the last four months the lion has been struggling against mange, a parasitic skin disease that causes hair loss and infections. Scientists used trail cameras located in areas across the park to investigate how P-22 contracted the illness, and it turns out the mountain lion was living with an infestation of mites. Scientists treated the lion for mange as well as rodenticide poisoning, as rodenticide can travel within a food chain and build up within top predators.

P-22 is still able to successfully hunt and gather food on its own, but it will require attention to make sure a relapse of the illnesses do not occur. Scientists and park rangers are keeping tabs on his location with a GPS tracker as well as using park cameras to observe the lion’s fur growth and movement. Due to the potential dangers to wildlife, consumers will no longer be able to purchase higher doses of rodenticide starting in July. Scientists have even suspected that the chemicals found in rodenticide can increase the vulnerability of animals to mange or other illnesses.

 The mountain lion, P-22, is providing scientists with data on how a lion species survives within Griffith park, but at the same time, P-22 is reminding the community of Los Feliz the delicate balance of wildlife living within the middle of Los Angeles. Los Feliz and nearby cities, such as Glendale, understand the importance of protecting wildlife environments. With P-22 recovering from its illnesses, the community can set this event as a precedent for future improvements upon ensuring the safety of natural habitats for both humans and animals.

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How to Hike to the Hollywood Sign in Griffith Park

Wanna great view of the city, the behind the scenes look at the sign, and be kinda back to nature in the city?

Here's how to hike the trail through Griffith Park to the Hollywood sign and hopefully get a good view of the city, that is, if the Southern California smog cooperates.

As with everywhere else in SoCal, you first have to drive to the trail. Unless you live in the heart of West Hollywood, take the 10 West to the 101 and exit Gower Street. Turn right onto Beachwood and keep driving north until you see a small sign for the Hollyridge Trail. Get here early so you have a place to park.

This is another short, easy hike that can be completed in less than an hour. Still, be sure to bring water because it can get very warm on the hike up into the hills.

Shortly after the trail begins, it splits. The main road will continue straight, but the trail will continue left around the bend. Make sure to stay left here and head up the trail.

The trail will split again and you can see the Hollywood sign on your left. Though it seems like going left toward the sign would make sense, go right at this split where the road ends. This will be about the halfway point, and the views will unfold all around you, from Downtown Los Angeles to the coast.

Unfortunately, the closest you can legally get to the sign is a few feet up behind it, behind a chain link fence. Maybe I should have specified and said this was a hike to the back of the Hollywood sign… Either way, the best of the hike is probably the views.

Most of us are SoCal natives anyway and the Hollywood sign is something of a cliché, but views, especially views of L.A., are a rarity.

The hike does create a sense of scale that you can’t get from a picture. Each letter is easily 100 feet tall, and standing up behind them it’s impressive to think they’ve been standing and weathering wind, sun and rain since August 1978. And before that, the original letters stood for 57 years and endured vandalism and pranks throughout the ‘80s before being replaced.

The letters are now a cultural and historical monument for the City of Los Angeles, but have become synonymous with the Southern California region and the state as a whole.