L.A. mountain lion P-22 makes another visit to Hollywood Hills home

Before moving to Los Angeles, the wildlife Kevin Prince encountered near his home in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City consisted in large part of rats clinging to slices of pizza.

But in the Hollywood Hills, Prince has come face to face with the Southland’s favorite feline citizen, mountain lion P-22, a much more imposing and regal presence.

“Over the past year and a half, I’ve gotten four visits from P-22,” Prince said, the most recent of which was an early Tuesday morning visit captured by a pair of cameras he had set up.

In the footage posted to Prince’s @animalsatmyfrontdoor Instagram account, P-22 pads down a short set of stairs, past Prince’s front door and onto a patio offering an astounding vista.

The sighting was confirmed by the National Park Service.

“About a weekend into moving here, I got home one night, parked in my carport, and I looked at the steps up to my house and I see what I think is like a golden retriever,” Prince said in an interview with The Times.

“As it started moving, it moved like Mufasa [from Disney’s “The Lion King”] and I knew it was a lion,” he said. After some research, Prince found that visitor might have been the lion.

Prince set out to capture footage of the mountain lion and installed motion-controlled cameras on his patio last year.

P-22 has obliged with multiple appearances at the home, with easy access to the surrounding hills.

The 123-pound, 12-year-old cat has been spotted numerous times during the last month, including a couple of March sojourns into Silver Lake.

“One of my neighbors was like, ‘You’re the luckiest person in L.A.,’” Prince said.

Maybe so, but it took a while for him to get used to visits from P-22, skunks, squirrels and possums.

Prince admitted the first encounter with P-22 spooked him. He said he notified the park service after the sighting and was told that mountain lions reside in the area and that sightings are common.

“We tell people all the time that this is mountain lion country,” said Ana Beatriz Cholo, a spokesperson for the park service’s Santa Monica Mountains area.

Prince feels fortunate to have such a famous visitor but remains vigilant.

“I have looked up how to fend off mountain lions, and that is a Google [search] I didn’t know I’d need to do,” he said. “Every time I leave my house, I am checking my motion alerts or looking out my window, but I’m not scared. I think it’s a beautiful creature and we should embrace P-22.”

His family and friends back east are more concerned.

“My mom is horrified,” he said. “She is very scared and family has been reaching out asking if I’m OK.”

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