Cougar Stars in LA Role Living Near Hollywood Sign

By Jonah Lustig

Nov 15, 2013 1:44pm
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A hidden camera records Hollywood's most reclusive star-this male cougar first seen in Griffith Park in Los Angeles almost two years ago. A radio collar tracks his moves, but residents see scant sign of him. (Photo Credit: Steve Winter/National Geographic)

National Geographic has released breathtaking new images of a cougar living near downtown Los Angeles.

As ABC News previously reported, P-22 is the name given to a cougar who has been living in Griffith Park, located in central Los Angeles. Griffith Park is the home to popular tourist destinations including the Hollywood sign and Griffith Observatory. According to photojournalist Steve Winter, the cougar had to cross two highways in order to make his home there.

Winter has been tracking the animal for over a year, and now National Geographic is prepared to release several of his spectacular photos of the creature leading up to their December issue.

“After 14 months, it all came together…and I got the image I dreamed of: P-22 with the Hollywood sign,” said Winter in a video released on National Geographic’s website.

Winter says that capturing images of P-22 was more difficult than it would have been if the cougar lived in the wild, as it required getting shots of both wildlife and urban dwellings.

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Photographed on a ridge above Los Angeles, a male cougar labeled P22 made his way from the Santa Monica Mountains to Griffith Park-an island of habitat surrounded by homes and highways. (Photo Credit: Steve Winter/National Geographic)

“The single hardest thing about working in this park is finding locations where you see urban wildlife and the city. You don’t want to think that you’re in downtown LA, you want to know that you’re in downtown LA,” he said.

Winter says that P-22 is trapped in Griffith Park because of the 24-hour traffic in surrounding highways. His photos will be available in National Geographic’s December 2013 issue.

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The December 2013 issue of National Geographic will include new photos of the Griffith Park cougar. (Photo Credit: National Geographic)

 

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