Earlier this week, mountain lion P-22 left the relative safety of his Griffith Park habitat and sneaked into the crawl space of a nearby house. Cameras and crews of animal control officials descended on the Los Feliz home and cajoled the cougar back into the more remote areas of Griffith Park.
Briefly, Los Angeles caught a rare glimpse of the mountain lion that typically comes into to view only of unmanned cameras set up in the park to capture wildlife. A Times editorial Tuesday mused on how our fascination with the hardy cougar reflects our relationship with the dwindling wildlife in close proximity to our metropolis. It ended with a call to give P-22 a proper name — a call that was answered by our readers, several of whom offered lighthearted suggestions.
My favorite came from a reader who signed his letter only with "TGM": "The lion's name is Randy. He is looking for love and he loves L.A."
Playa del Rey resident Kyle Kimbrell is fine with keeping "P-22":
Today's essay on the glaring spotlight of media attention on a wild mountain lion was spot on until the very last sentence: "Perhaps we can get him a real name."
Please don't. The last thing Hollywood needs is another named celebrity. P-22 is perfect. This nocturnal wanderer will only benefit from nameless anonymity. Every human encounter only brings with it further practical complications. A cute name will just make it worse.
One can't help but recall the well-cared-for albino cobra that was found a few months ago in a Thousand Oaks backyard, name unknown. Whatever it was called will never be known. The clandestine owner of this deadly snake did not come forward.
Jack Fenn of Montecito Heights doesn't look far for a name:
Just thinking of "our" mountain lion, P-22, enjoying life in and around Griffith Park delights me. Under that house he had it made in the shade.
But I worry too. Will he interface with humans to his detriment? Will the drought drive down the deer population and force him to leave? Can he leave safely across streets and freeways?
In the meantime and in the spirit of your editorial, let's give him a name. Let's call him "Jack." It is casual, energetic, likable easy to remember. Maybe "Jack Griffith" to give him some gravitas.
Fred Dean of Los Angeles suggests something playful:
As your article states, P-22 has become a well-known resident of Griffith Park over the last three years. By now, it seems that we should give this "cult figure" a more personalized name, perhaps something like "Griffy" or "Coogie the Couger."
Alexa Smith Maxwell of Los Angeles has an "only in L.A." take on P-22:
Looks like P-22 is now what every true Angeleno aspires to. Not only is he a celebrity, he has gotten into L.A. real estate on the ground floor.