After the Griffith Park mountain lion, P-22, made an appearance in Los Feliz, hunkering down in the crawl space of a home for a day or so and causing a media frenzy, we wrote in an editorial that he deserves a name as captivating as his public profile. Or at least more catchy than P-22, which is simply his National Park Service designation as the 22nd puma the service’s scientists have tracked in and around the Santa Monica Mountains since 2002.
We asked for suggestions, and here’s what we got from our readers:
• Pico (from a reader who tweeted us: “It's mythic, historical, relevant, & means (mountain) peak!”)
• Randy (as in looking for love, because that is what a mountain lion of his age of 5-6 should be doing.)
• Prowler (from a post on my Facebook page; and he is on the prowl for everything -- food, love, a nice den.)
• Griffy (as in Griffith Park)
• El Soltero (Spanish for “The Bachelor.”)
• Zuma-the-Puma (“There is a Mountain Lion Birthing Canyon in Malibu that is sacred to the Chumash natives of the Santa Monica Mountains,” writes “Coastal Chris.” Couldn’t verify that on Google, but I’ll take your word for it, Chris.)
Which one do you like best? Take our carnivorously unscientific poll, or offer an alternative in the comments below. We’ll let you know which name got the most votes. Quick -- before he shows up again! Sure, he’s not our pet and we should keep our distance, but he is our feline celebrity, apparently the sole puma in a very urban park, immortalized by remote camera loping past the Hollywood sign, tracked better than most human celebrities. The National Park Service has him GPS’d up to his neck. Literally.
Interestingly, P-32 (yes, probably a distant relation) reportedly made a run for it out of the Santa Monica Mountains on April 3, daringly crossing the 101 Freeway near Thousand Oaks then crossing State Route 23 and landing in the Simi Hills, according to the National Park Service. P-32 is a male youngster. Plenty of time before we have to think about bestowing a name on him.
Follow Carla Hall on Twitter: @latCarlaHall