The Cat that Changed America (Tony Lee, 2017) USA

Reviewed by C. Zangi Angeli at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival 2017

Photo taken by Steve Winter that was used as the cover of the December 2013 National Geographic issue. 

Photograph taken by Steve Winter of P22 with the Hollywood sign in the background

This is a documentary by Tony Lee about the famous cat known as P22, a mountain lion in Los Angeles who became trapped in Griffith Park after crossing two of the busiest freeways in California, the 405 and the 101.  This is not just about P22 but gives you an education on the males of this species.  The most important information is that the males have territories and has a wide berth as two males cannot live close to each other as they  end up killing or maiming each other.  This documentary is informative and sheds light on the lions looking for a place for themselves since so much housing has taken over their domain.

P22 is a well-known mountain lion in Griffith Park.  P22 was first observed on camera by the remote cameras placed to  catch live pictures of him. Several people stated they saw a mountain lion in the area of Griffith park. Griffith Park is basically  small  for P22 and is a protected park area near downtown Los Angeles.  P-22 with no tracking device at the time was believed to be from the Santa Monica Mountains.  P22 is now hemmed in away from dominant  males in this small area unable to mate. They do not want to relocate him as the fear is that he would be killed by another dominate male lion.  There is a possible answer by an architect who has a fantastic idea for our wildlife in that area as you read below.

The National Park Service in March of 2012 had biologists capture he 120 lb. lion called P22. The  park service gave him a GPS  tracking device to track his movements.  P22 seems to be on a diet of coyotes, deer and raccoons.

In March 2014, P22 was captured to replace his GPS radio-collar.  They discovered P22 had a severe bout with mange. He was treated by the park service  and actually after looking so horrible and sick started looking a lot like his old self.  But because of the  huge  following of P22 information was brought about the poisons used to kill mice and rats etc. and they go off to die and get eaten by another animal and they end up dying and or very sick.  Mindful people realize this dilemma and take precautions against using poison that can kill our wildlife.

The documentary is sharing information about raising 55 million dollars for a natural  over pass that will benefit all wildlife and the mountain lions.  The architect of the bridge has been designed and is looking for someone or many to step forward for this important wildlife bridge for the animals so they can thrive and so they do not get trapped or killed crossing the freeway.   They need to get started and 10 million will be what is initially needed for them to move on this.  The design is natural and quite beautiful and would make us all proud if we think  of  our wildlife as important since we have encroached on their habitat.  It is up to all of us to protect the animals.

A note to the fund raisers: please give P22 a name.  He has such a following but he deserves an honorable name.  They deserve that dignity if we call out his name and this symbol for him needs to include a name for our star.  You could have a contest or the person who donates the most can name P22.  Hopefully and honorable name that is befitting a wild beautiful creature as P22.  The followers of P22 can make this happen.


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