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. It is known as P-22 and was found under a residence in the hilly Los Feliz neighborhood. That's near Los Angeles. This was according to 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 had been installing a home security system. They 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. It is right next to the neighborhood that features hillsides covered in thick brush. The animal arrived in the area several years ago. It came from the western slopes of the Santa Monica Mountains. The mountain lion crossed two freeways to get there.

National Geographic famously photographed P-22 in 2013 with the Hollywood sign in the background. Several sharp photographs from a remote camera in Griffith Park 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 they used several techniques that would not injure the animal to try to get him to leave. Trying to get the mountain lion to move on was handled by professionals.

Gently, they poked him with a long prod. 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. The idea was that the noise and commotion would scare him out. It's 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 came close to drawing him out. They didn't even get him to move much.

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

"My wife wanted a fourth one," he said, "but not this way."

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

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COMMENTS (221)
  • spencerm-Eic
    4/17/2015 - 02:54 p.m.

    He is a escapist kitty and ate rat Poison he is a super cat I love any kind of cat lion tiger mountain lions.

  • pablov918
    4/17/2015 - 02:59 p.m.

    people might of thought it was a cat but if they got close to it they might of gotten hurt or even got scratched by the cougar

  • jaceyn-Eic
    4/17/2015 - 03:00 p.m.

    That is so cool, but so scary at the same time. I wonder what it would be like to figure out that a mountain lion was under your house! Would you be scared, calm, anxious , or maybe even excited? I probably would be all four. But I can't believe that it didn't even move at all! That's one stubborn lion!

  • claires801
    4/17/2015 - 03:01 p.m.

    What I say about this story is OMG!!!!!!!!!! This is crazy because I would not expect for a cougar to be a house pet/cat because cougars can be vicious. I would be so so so so scared to be in the same house as a cougar because I would be scared that it would eat me!!!!!! I would also be scared to go to sleep at night because the cougar might get mad for some reason and bite me or eat me!!!!!!!!!!

  • FaithM1230
    4/17/2015 - 03:09 p.m.

    The mountain lion became a celebrity by going where he wanted. If he would have just stayed in Griffith park where he was supposed to he wouldn't be famous. I think that it's funny how the cougar was not phased by the scare tactics used on him. If there was a cougar under my house i would be terrified to go outside

  • hulmskai2002
    4/17/2015 - 03:14 p.m.

    I am so shocked by this story. I just cant believe it crossed two freeways without getting injured. It might seem weird but I wouldn't mind a mountain lion living under my house, unless it likes to eat humans.

  • JackS-4
    4/17/2015 - 03:56 p.m.

    In the hilly Los Feliz neighborhood has been the subject of lots of news stories these past few days. A famous Californian Cougar has been sighted underneath a house in a crawl space. It's name is P-22. A home security intaller found it when attatching the system to the bottom of the house. The big cat has barley moved and attempts to move him have failed.

    I don't know how they would be able to just lose a Mountain Lion, especially when it has a tracking collar. I think it would be really terrifying to find a Lion living under your house.

  • MaggieM-3
    4/18/2015 - 02:13 p.m.

    A mountain lion named P-22 was photographed by National Geographic in 2013 with the Hollywood sign in the background. It normally lives near Griffin park, but recently wandered its way down to underneath an unsuspecting persons house. Rachel Archinaco, the owner of the house was installing a new home security system when a worker informed her of the large feline. P-22 has been living in the area for several years and came from the Western slopes of the Santa Monica Mountains, it even crossed two free ways to get there. The large cat is very healthy despite its mange and consumption of rat poisoning. In an attempt to move the mountain lion officials probed it with a stick which did not accomplish much and a GoPro that was attached. Also officials fired tennis balls at P-22 but that did not accomplish much either.
    I think that it is very scary to wake up one day and find a mountain lion underneath someones house. I know that I personally would be very unprepared and have no idea who to call and what to do to ensure both the animal's and my safety.

  • carolinep102
    4/18/2015 - 02:18 p.m.

    I would be very scared if a cougar was under my house! I would definitely want to get it out. Also I am very weirded out that the animal did not even want to move when animals discovered him and when the fired cannons and bean bags where he was. This animal is definitely a contrast to all of the other animals. But I guess that being in a park it would be sort of used to animals. Wow!

  • AustinT-2
    4/19/2015 - 06:40 p.m.

    A cougar was found in a crawl space under a residence home. The cougar had a collar with a beaker on it. The cigar originally lived in Griffith park. The cougar also had a red wear tag to identify the animal and which one it was. I think that this experience for the home owner would be terrifying.

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