November 23, 2014
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A mountain lion that appeared strong and healthy as it ruled a wilderness park in the middle of Los Angeles has been exposed to rat poison and is suffering from mange.
National Park Service spokeswoman Kate Kuykendall says scientists noticed the cat known as P-22 was sickly when they recaptured it last month to replace batteries in its tracking collar.
She says the 4-year-old cougar probably ate animals exposed to poison from residential bait traps. The poison often works its way up the food chain, becoming more lethal as the dose accumulates in larger animals.
P-22 was treated for the parasitic skin disease and returned to Griffith Park. Biologists say it's unclear whether P-22 will fully recover.
Kuykendall says there's no indication the poisoned cat is a threat to residents.
Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or firstname.lastname@example.org.