Even though he probably will never use it in his lifetime, P-22 (famed Griffith Park cougar) is the incentive for the current campaign to build a wildlife crossing in Southern California; the big city cat is also the inspiration a new photography exhibit that showcases other local critters that would benefit from such a passageway.
Getting There: A Wildlife Crossing Over the 101 opens April 21 at Venice’s G2 Gallery and will feature selected images from SoCal photographers depicting coyotes, mountain lions, deer, foxes and other creatures that are killed each year trying to cross L.A. highways and roads.
A coalition of groups, spearheaded by National Wildlife Foundation and the Santa Monica Mountains Fund, has activated resources to support the creation of a crossing at the 101 Freeway at Liberty Canyon in Agoura Hills. The National Park Service, CalTrans and Senator Fran Pavley are behind the construction; to date, the project has been given a $1 million grant from the State Coastal Conservancy, but an additional $3 million necessary to complete the needed engineering for CalTrans as well as to fund NPS’ ongoing research along with education, outreach and advocacy for the campaign.
Since his remarkable trek that scientists estimate included safely crossing numerous freeways and roads from the Santa Monica Mountains to his current home in Griffith Park, P-22 typifies the plight of not only mountain lions but other wildlife that encounter the dangers of the highway. While P-22 was extremely lucky; so many were not.
The exhibit showcases the work of local wildlife photographers such as Johanna Turner, Denis Callet, Dave Collins, Buddy Weiss, Gerry Hans, Susan Pearson, Barry Rowan and Larry Wan.
The photo exhibit runs from April 21 through June 7. A reception is slated for April 25 6:30-9pm with a $10 admission that includes wine, hors d’oeuvres and complimentary valet. All proceeds from admissions will be donated to the NWF.
The G2 gallery is located at 1503 Abbot Kinney Blvd in Venice.