House cat was a cougar! This file photo shows the Griffith Park mountain lion known as P-22 (AP photos)
House cat was a cougar!
Lexile

A celebrity mountain lion that lounged under a home for hours and refused to budge despite bean bags, tennis balls and prods has wandered out on its own, wildlife officials said.

A thorough check turned up no sign of the big cat known as P-22 under the residence in the hilly Los Feliz neighborhood near Los Angeles, said Lt. J.C. Healy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Officials from the National Park Service were trying to pick up a signal from the electronic beacon on the cougar's collar to determine its whereabouts.

Homeowner Rachel Archinaco told television station KABC that workers installing a home security system encountered the cougar in a crawl space.

"The one worker came sprinting through our house, white-faced, shouting, 'There's a mountain lion under your house!'" she said.

The wild mountain lion, which has a red ear tag, normally lives in Griffith Park, which is right next to the neighborhood featuring hillsides covered in thick brush. It arrived in the area several years ago from the western slopes of the Santa Monica Mountains and crossed two freeways to get there.

National Geographic famously photographed P-22 in 2013 with the Hollywood sign in the background and several sharp photographs from a remote camera in GriffithPark captured the cat last year.

He survived mange and a meal of rat poison last year to become apparently healthy again.

At the home, wildlife officials cleared most media and gawkers away after darkness fell, then used several techniques that would not injure the animal to try to get him to move. Trying to get the mountain lion to move on was handled by professionals.

Gently, they poked him with a long prod, but that did little other than temporarily lose the pricey GoPro camera they had attached to the end of it.

They fired a tennis ball cannon into the crawl space with hopes that at least the noise and commotion would scare him out, a tactic that often works with coyotes.

They then fired small bean bags, the same kind police sometimes use for human crowd control, toward the cat. The mountain lion seemed unimpressed.

All the tactics, shown live on streaming video, drew mild reactions from P-22 none coming close to drawing him out or even getting him to move much.

Archinaco's husband, Jason, said the couple has three ordinary house cats and had thought about adding to their numbers.

Critical thinking challenge: How did the mountain lion become a celebrity?

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COMMENTS (64)
  • Oliviac-Pav
    4/20/2015 - 09:56 a.m.

    That is so weird how they weren't able to get the cat out with the normal tactics. Normally, those tactics drive big cats crazy, making them very agitated, but no this time. I don't know how the family wasn't scared by this, I know I would be terrified.

    • marlieholmes13
      4/20/2015 - 01:06 p.m.

      I thought that it was strange that the mountain lion lived in a park and nobody called animal control. What if there was a little kid running around the park and suddenly the lion attacked him? What would they do? I thought that it was funny how the guy came rushing in their house saying there is a mountain lion underneath your house! If I were the family in this house i would be terrified. It was weird how the tactics they normally use to scare these kind of animals weren't working on this lion. Mountain lions have a lifespan of eight to thirteen years in the wild. I certaintly wouldn't want a lion living underneath my house for that amount of time!

  • noahd-Goo
    4/20/2015 - 09:57 a.m.

    The mountain lion didn't budge when tennis balls and bean bags were fired at the lion. The text states that the lion was tagged and was in a crawlspace. The text also states that the lion became famous because of the conflict. The evidence from the text suggests that the lion is stubborn.

  • hailie1237
    4/20/2015 - 01:00 p.m.

    I love cats, I'm crazy about them. However I couldn't imagine cougar living under my home. Normally those tactics drive cats crazy, but I guess this is different. They say the lion was "unimpressed" when they fired small bean bags at it. The lion has a red ear tag.

  • chris.nunes15
    4/20/2015 - 01:02 p.m.

    That's crazy! Usually mountain lions are shy and elusive to humans, but this one was different. Most likely the cougar was sick,and was losing his mind. It`s the same with rabbits, gophers, and sometimes even squirrels. If a wild animal, which is usually known to be shy, gets close, or even in your house it is most likely sick and carrying a disease. This is according to multiple websites on wildlife health and safety. This cougar has become a celebrity based on his bravery and his friendliness. However, we can`t forget he poses a danger of possibleble sickness.

  • Enyam-Pav
    4/21/2015 - 10:00 a.m.

    This is crazy! I cant believe that the mountain lion ended up at their house, he had to cross two freeways! I cant believe that he actually got there unharmed. But, i feel really bad for the people whose house that was, I wound be terrified! They are really big and powerful and could hurt not only them but their cats and the house. But all in all im happy that everyone is okay!

  • karlytorres74
    4/21/2015 - 01:04 p.m.

    Having a cougar live under your house must be scary! To have the second largest cat in North America living under your house would be alarming. I did some research and it said the only reason a cougar would live under a house is if the cougar had already lived in that territory before the house built. Since the cougar was their before you're in the cougar's place now!

  • jacobm-Che
    4/21/2015 - 01:49 p.m.

    this is so cute and crazy i would love to have one as a pet as long as it doesn't eat my face off and kills me but still i would love it and take care of it but its amazing to this person did this its crazy

  • makaylar-Che
    4/21/2015 - 02:34 p.m.

    this is some crazy stuff because they found a mountain lion under her house its cool its like having a cat under your house but its bigger but its wild so you don't know what it might do to you so Ill be scared so get near it. the mountain lion wont come out from under the house so the owners said they had cats so they might just add him or her to the collection of the cats I would love one. the mountain lion wont move it will just stay there in one place and not move anywhere.

  • dillons-McC
    4/21/2015 - 02:42 p.m.

    The mountain lion became a celebrity by crawling into a crawl space under a house in Los Angeles that was found by a man who was installing home security on the house. Another reason the mountain lion is famous is because it was taken its picture two years ago.

  • carlosc-McC
    4/21/2015 - 02:49 p.m.

    The mountain lion became celebrity , because he was under a house.Also, people were worried for the people who live in the house don't get hurt by the lion.Also , people would be curious of why the lion was under the house.

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