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.