The old feline, about eleven years old, was known to roam the heights of Hollywood and its famous giant hillside sign, hence his nickname, which he acquired over time.
The officers had decided in early December to arrest him because of his unpredictable behavior, perhaps the consequence of a collision with a vehicle.
According to a statement from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, veterinarians discovered he was wounded in the head and right eye and suffered damage to internal organs.
The cougar was also sick with kidneys, thin, suffering from skin infections and arthritis.
“The most difficult but compassionate decision was to end his suffering and stress by ending his life,” the statement said, adding that “P-22 (the animal’s code name, ed.) has (had) had an amazing life and won the hearts of the people of Los Angeles and more.”
California Governor Gavin Newsom paid tribute to the “incredible life” of the iconic big cat, which has “captivated people all over the world”.
Griffith Park, a 23 square kilometer natural island where the animal likely lived for a decade, is surrounded by highways and urban sprawl.
Experts were impressed by the epic ride of the P-22, which had to cross two major Los Angeles freeways to reach the park in 2012.
In a report on the animal, the National Park Service lamented that Griffith Park was too small to accommodate another mountain lion and that (P-22) was “unlikely to find love”.
The “Hollywood Cat” became famous by making several public appearances, on video or in the flesh.
A Facebook page set up in his honor has more than 20,000 subscribers.