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Our elusive neighbor: The mountain lion

The mountain lion known as P-22 seen in Los Angeles' Griffith Park in November 2014.
National Park Service AP
The mountain lion known as P-22 seen in Los Angeles' Griffith Park in November 2014.

After a decade of living wild in the Griffith park area of Los Angeles, the world-famous mountain lion known as P-22, was captured and euthanized last month at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. He was in the care of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who determined the cat was too sick and injured to return to his Hollywood home. 

While some aspects of P-22's story are unique, it is not uncommon for these predators to live close to humans. More so than grizzly bears and wolves — animals no longer thriving in the state — pumas are stealthy. You might hike right past one and never know it. They are also extremely adaptable. In fact, they live all over California, from the deserts, to the mountains, to the Hollywood Hills. But, their continuing success hinges on how well they can navigate living among humans.

Winston Vickers, director and lead wildlife veterinarian of the Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center’s California Mountain Lion Project at UC Davis, and Dr. Jessica Sanchez, a postdoctoral fellow at the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, joined Midday Edition Thursday to talk about how humans and pumas can continue to live together, in a way that is humane and as safe as possible for everyone.

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