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Environment & Science

And P-22 the mountain lion's 'new' name, selected by listeners, is...

Mountain lion P-22, appearing territorial beneath a Griffith Park house
Mountain lion P-22, appearing territorial beneath a Griffith Park house
National Park Service via Flickr

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Apparently, if the people who vote in internet polls mirror the makeup of the 100,000 people who listen to Off-Ramp every week, most of you disagreed with our assertion that "P-22 is a lousy name for a mountain lion."

The votes in our poll show that you guys think "P-22" is a very good name.

So, sorry all of you who supported "Felix," "Yossarian," "Tukuurot," "Pete Puma," "Pounce de Leon," "Huell," and "Puma Thurman." Keeping P-22 "P-22" was the clear winner, with 592 votes. "Pounce de Leon" made a strong challenge last night, but fell short at 479 votes. "Huell" was a distant third at 153 votes. Check the final vote tally here.

Kat (!) Talley-Jones commented that "P-22" is "a science-y name," and Seth Riley, wildlife ecologist with the National Park Service, one of those who tracks P-22, agrees.

"Lots of people think it'd be valuable to have something more personal. (But) for us "P-22" is pretty personal. We get pretty attached to all the animals, including him, just from studying them for many years. We really appreciate the fact that people are interested in the science."

Why is P-22 named "P-22"? Riley says "P" is for puma (part of the mountain lion's scientific name). Grey foxes are "GF," coyotes are "C," and  bobcats are "B." And "22" means he's the 22nd to get a tracking collar and is part of the study.

Riley says P-22 is back in Griffith Park, by the way, and missed all the hullabaloo over his name. Maybe all the publicity will help him find a mate at last.

But in the meantime, listener Beth Pratt is glad she won't have to get a new tattoo.

(Image courtesy Beth Pratt)

Hear more of my interview with Seth Riley by clicking the play button above.