A famous cougar holed up in a crawlspace under a home in the Los Angeles suburb of Los Feliz has found its way back into the wild, this after wildlife officials abandoned senseless efforts to shoo it away.
Wildlife officials were called to the home of Jason and Paula Archinaco on Monday after two workers installing a security system came face to face with the cougar, known in the area at P-22.
It's the same mountain lion that was discovered roaming the Los Angeles area three years ago and was made famous by National Geographic photographer Steve Winter, who used a camera trap to capture an image of it walking under the iconic Hollywood sign.
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"He was just lying there looking like, 'What? I don't understand what the hullabaloo is about,'" homeowner Paula Archinaco told the Los Angeles Times.
Wildlife officials threw tennis balls and beanbags at the cougar, and poked it with a stick in an attempt to scare it off, but as Winter told National Geographic, "People really need to get out of the way so the cat will move."
And that's just what they did. The media was sent away, reducing the lights and glare around the crawlspace, and wildlife officials departed the scene, the last one leaving around 1 a.m. Tuesday, the Times reported.
By 9 a.m. Tuesday, without anyone seeing it, the cougar had fled the crawlspace and returned to its home in the wild.
National Geographic reported that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife confirmed that by noon Tuesday the collared cougar was 1 1/2 miles into the wilderness of Griffith Park.
"This wasn't a lion that was threatening people," Janice Mackey, a Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman, told the Los Angeles Times. "The best course of action is to let the lion return to his habitat on his own. We always strive for that."
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