Leilani Fideler received a warning that her backyard motion sensor had detected some raccoons.
Soon her phone rang again. This time it wasn’t a raccoon.
“I was shocked to see a lion’s tail,” said Fideler. “I saw him jump over my goal. It was just wild. “
Los Angeles’ most famous mountain lion, P-22 made a brief appearance on Fideler’s Beachwood Canyon deck, letting the world know that he still haunted the hills around Griffith Park and hasn’t changed his address in the New Year.
Fideler, an actor who recently moved to the neighborhood, wasn’t home while the 12-year-old Leo was visiting Tuesday night.
In the video captured by their ring surveillance cameras, he is jumping over a gate to enter the property.
He later leaps nimbly on a fence while the city lights glow in the distance.
Researchers who have followed P-22 since it first appeared at Griffith Park 10 years ago are sure he is the lion in the video thanks to the tracking collar visible on his neck.
The backyard foray was the latest dramatic gesture from P-22, who was once hiding under a house in Los Feliz and is suspected of killing a koala in the city zoo.
Researchers believe P-22 was originally from the Santa Monica Mountains and was born to P-1 and an unnamed female lion.
Somehow he found his way to Griffith Park around 2012, which meant he was starting a trip that most Angelenos take to get around town – he crossed freeways 405 and 101.
Its tawny appearance has attracted a lot of fans. In an iconic image from 2013, photographer Steve Winter caught him wandering at night with the Hollywood sign shining in the background.
The following year, P-22’s battle with rat poison mange was also caught on camera, his usually majestic face being thin and sullen.
But he has no admirers of his own species. It is narrowed by highways and is considered to be the only mountain lion in the area that has no female partners.
“He’s the Brad Pitt of the puma world. He’s handsome and aged well, but he’s struggling with his dating life, ”said Beth Pratt, who leads the National Wildlife Federation’s #SaveLACougars campaign.
Despite his GPS collar and proximity to densely populated neighborhoods, researchers find it difficult to track his movements.
“Most of the time, we don’t know where this animal is,” said Seth Riley, director of the National Park Service’s wildlife division.
But with the popularity of home surveillance cameras like Ring, pictures of him are becoming more common on porches and backyards.
“That doesn’t mean the lions are suddenly coming to everyone’s back door now,” Riley said. “It just means that everyone has photos of it now.”
Pratt’s group is raising funds for a $ 87 million flyover that will allow isolated cougars to cross a 10-lane section of the 101 Freeway in Agoura Hills.
“It’s not that it shouldn’t be in Griffith Park, but it shouldn’t be trapped there. He should be able to travel in and out, ”said Pratt.
The fanfare following the sightings of P-22 is to be expected, Pratt said. Angelenos have hugged the big cat in their midst.
“I really love celebrating the LA people because in any other state this cat would have been removed or killed as soon as it was discovered,” said Pratt. “Here we are, live with him and celebrate him.”