P-22, a celebrated mountain lion who roamed the Hollywood Hills and became an icon of Los Angeles, was euthanized Saturday after a series of health problems, officials said.
In a statement, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said that P-22 was put to sleep following an examination in which it was determined that the cat "had several severe injuries and chronic health problems." In addition, the CDFW said that P-22 "showed significant trauma to the mountain lion's head, right eye and internal organs, confirming the suspicion of recent injury, such as a vehicle strike" as well as a number of pre-existing conditions. The typically docile panther had previously been captured on Dec. 12 after killing a dog, which researchers attributed to the injuries from the vehicle strike.
"P-22's advanced age, combined with chronic, debilitating, life-shortening conditions and the clear need for extensive long-term veterinary intervention left P-22 with no hope for a positive outcome," the statement added.
First identified in 2012, P-22 made his home in the Santa Monica Mountains, and could often be spotted in Griffith Park at the eastern edge of the mountains. He became somewhat of an urban legend around Los Angeles, and even California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) released a statement mourning his passing.
Local residents often told stories of their encounters with P-22.
"He touched my soul. He could have destroyed me, and he didn't," Corie Mattie told BBC News. "It escalated quickly to my spirit animal. It went from zero to one hundred, really quick."