Ever since pictures were first published four years ago of P-22 roaming at night through the more unspoiled sections of Griffith Park, our letter writers have been rooting for L.A.'s most photogenic mountain lion. The comfort readers expressed for a predator moving freely through one of the nation's largest urban park seemed to mark a shift in our complicated and often fraught relationship with nature in Los Angeles.
Does the death of a koala at the L.A. Zoo mark the end of our peaceful coexistence with P-22? Most readers still come at this from a "nature first" point of view, but the koala's apparent mauling death by the mountain lion has given some of our letter writers (who are still in the minority on this issue) pause.
Michele Hart-Rico of Los Angeles says the koala death shouldn't be surprising:
Have we learned nothing from all the nature shows on TV? Predators kill the least able of their prey.
P-22 allegedly killed an elderly koala (not a native) who was apparently not in a tree with younger koalas, but on the ground, making it an easy target for the mountain lion. Mountain lions kill the least able deer and coyotes, keeping their populations from getting out of hand. Coyotes kill small animals like rats. Want an explosion of the rat population? Get rid of coyotes.
Look how an ordinary house cat climbs, and imagine the additional strength of a mountain lion. Improve the zoo fences, including the tops of enclosures. Keep cats indoors and dogs on a leash. Carry pepper spray. Even a loud whistle or air horn may help distract an approaching predator.
We are on their turf. Respect it.
Sherman Oaks resident John Coniglio warns that humans may be next:
In December, a friend of mine who lives in Los Feliz said he got home from work around 3 a.m and as he was walking from his car to his front door, a puma raced past him and down Griffith Park Boulevard. We may not be on the mountain lion's dinner menu, but we are probably on the dessert menu.
P-22 should be moved before someone gets seriously hurt.
Richard R. McCurdy of Burbank responds to other letter writers:
The Times printed three letters on Thursday regarding mountain lion attacks on a rancher's sheep and other animals. Two of the writers believe we can and must live in harmony with this creature as well as other wildlife. Unfortunately, the dissenter, who seems to think that adapting to wildlife is out of the question, feels the puma should be captured and relocated.
I can only hope that this person is in the minority and will some day experience enlightenment regarding man's responsibility to the flora and fauna in our environment.
Daniel Dalton of Redlands pages a certain presidential candidate:
Have no worry, Donald Trump is going to build a wall. Higher.