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With Tuscany Hills homeowner in doghouse, bobcats move in

Bobcats at home

With real estate values plummeting and foreclosed homes sitting empty, a family of bobcats apparently decided the time was right to pounce.

So last week, they slipped out of the parched foothills of Lake Elsinore and into a spacious vacant home in well-groomed Tuscany Hills.

Residents of the development got their first look Aug. 27 when the feline squatters -- at least two adults and three kittens -- lolled atop a wall outside the Spanish-style house.

Someone called 911, reporting mountain lions. Four police cruisers showed up, and officers ordered everyone inside. But soon they were out snapping photos along with the neighbors.

Bobcats are not known to attack humans, said Monique Middleton of Animal Friends of the Valley, which provides animal-control services. "But are they pussycats? No. Can they do a lot of damage? Yes," she said. "They usually look for a food-and-water source, and there is an old koi pond in the backyard and that's where they are headed."

She said she expected the animals to move on in a few weeks, when the kittens are old enough to travel.

Tuscany Hills has been hit hard by foreclosures, and the house on Vista Palermo has been empty at least six months, neighbors said.

Said Scott Brown, who with his wife, Karen, moved there from Long Beach to be close to nature: "They are great neighbors, and as long as they don't want to baby-sit my kids, it's not a problem."

--David Kelly

Photo: Karen Brown

Comments () | Archives (4)

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What a great wildlife experience for the kids in that neighborhood! My aunt in Idaho had a bobcat hybrid that guarded her barn. No rodents on that ranch! And no other animals sneaked in to eat the farm animals either!

Well, at least someone is benefiting from the Wall Street created housing crisis other than the fat-cat hedge fund managers!

Those cats are so beautiful! I am glad to hear they aren't being harmed. If greedy developers wouldn't continue to invade wildlife homes with their unnecessary new constructions and McMansions, the wildlife wouldn't be so desperate for a place to live.

Bobcats aren't very big and aren't a danger as long as people behave themselves around them. I hope this lovely cat family receives the respect and awe it deserves.

I have seen a few near the golf courses in
Anthem Sun city.


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