After searching for signs of a mountain lion Tuesday morning that had been trapped under a Los Feliz home since Monday, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife tweeted that the large cat had left.
A mountain lion found trapped in the crawl space of a Los Feliz home Monday was still there as of 1 a.m. Tuesday, according to NBCLA.
After attempts by California Fish and Wildlife to coax him out with a tennis ball launcher and shooting a few beanbag rounds into the area failed, the area has been cleared so the feline can come out on his own.
NBCLA reported Monday that home security technicians found the big cat:
They found famous mountain lion P-22 stuck in the home's crawl space, said Jason Archinaco, the owner of the home in the Los Feliz hills.
"It's got to be at least 150 pounds!" Archinaco said, looking at the giant cat lodged in the small space of his home.
He said the city's animal control officers couldn't remove the wildcat because it's too large. California Fish and Wildlife are going to attempt to coax him out with a tennis ball launcher and hope that he will run back to the mountains.
A ranger on the scene confirmed the identity of the mountain lion.
“There’s no doubt. I’ve seen the ear tags. I’ve been in contact with the people doing the study. This is P-22," Marty Wahl, patrol lieutenant with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, told KPCC.
Wahl said that the home is near enough to the lion's habitat that rangers would attempt scaring the lion back into the hills.
At 6 pm, the lion was still in the crawlspace. Wahl said he was waiting for crowds to disperse before attempting to nudge the lion towards safety.
“By himself, the mountain lion wouldn’t pose much of a danger, but scared and running, cornered, we can’t really predict where he’s going to run completely. So we have to get the people off the streets and make sure the neighbors all stay in their houses," Wahl said.
Wahl said he normally would attempt to use a tranquilizer dart on P-22, but that the lion was mostly behind solid cover.
“He’s not presenting enough of himself to attempt a dart shot, and I’m not going underneath the house in a crawlspace with a mountain lion,” Wahl said.
Wahl said that the discovery of P-22 in a home does not mean that the Department of Fish and Wildlife will change how it treats the lion.
"He’s not anywhere he hasn’t been before — I’ve looked at some of the telemetry reports. These neighborhoods are really spread out properties, with hillsides and arroyos between them," Wahl said. "He probably strolls through here on a pretty regular basis. We don’t know, he might’ve been using this crawlspace as a daytime hideout for a long time.”
The technicians who found P-22 captured him on camera:
P-22 lives in Griffith Park, and has run into trouble before. Late last year, he contracted mange and was exposed to rat poison. His family history has been called "tragic".
This story has been updated.