Disagreements dog next steps for mountain lion P-22

Biologists want tissue samples; some Tribal representatives want it buried intact

The mountain lion known as P-22 gained fame in Los Angeles after its appearance on trail cameras in Griffith Park, and its death late last year was big news. Wildlife officials euthanized the mountain lion (Puma concolor) after capturing it in a backyard, where it was found with an array of chronic illnesses and a skull fracture after being hit by a car.

What happens to P-22 now is a matter of debate. While its remains wait in a freezer at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, biologists hope to retain tissue samples for research. Some Tribal representatives say it should be kept intact and honored with a traditional burial. “We’re trying to see what can we do differently—regarding outreach, regarding our process—that is feasible for us as an institution but respectful of both the scientific and the cultural-historic legacy of these animals,” biologist Miguel Ordeñana told the Associated Press.

Read more from the Associated Press.

Header Image: Mountain lion P-22 appears in the hills above Los Angeles in this November 2014 photo. Credit: National Park Service