“Oh, my!” exclaimed the little kids gathered around our table at the zoo as they looked at the photo of an emaciated, mangy P-22. Many of the families were familiar with the handsome mountain lion in the iconic National Geographic photo and could see the devastating, unintended consquences of the use of rodenticides and were very concerned about his well-being. Friends of Griffith Park volunteers assured the kids and their parents that the National Park Service biologists had treated P-22 and once again he was looking healthy. We suggested alternative ways of dealing with rodents that will not harm other animals. FoGP also distributed flyers showing how rodenticides (rat poisons) spread from animal to animal up the food chain, ironically killing natural predators of rats like hawks and coyotes.
Friends of Griffith Park along with a dozen other environmental non-profits were invited to participate in the Los Angeles Zoo’s Wild for the Planet on April 24th, one of a series of special weekend events to commemorate this year’s Earth Day. Organizations set up near the lush foliage of the aviary, the carousel, and the puppet show so we had plenty of visitors. This event also presented a golden opportunity to share ideas with other environmental groups in attendance.
At the end of the day, visitors to our table walked away better informed about rat poisons, and the effects on our environment.