Lake Elsinore bobcats lounge in back yard

LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. If you're in the market for a new home, one foreclosed house in Lake Elsinore might be a good find. But you might not be the only one making an offer. Last week a family of bobcats took up residence there, and they appeared fairly comfortable in snapshots taken of the bobcats lounging about the property.

"We've been here for four months, five months," said neighbor Karen Brown, who saw a bobcat. "We bought a foreclosed home, and we're from Long Beach, and yeah, we've seen a coyote, but never anything like this before."

Neighbors say the bobcats were laying on the back wall of the foreclosed home. They've also been spotted up in the trees, literally right across the street from where they all live. And that has residents in the area being much more careful. After all, there are many small children in the area.

"I keep my children in the backyard now, of course, and I have a large dog, which kind of gives me reassurance that they're OK, because I think she would scare them a little bit," said Brown. "They're wild animals. I don't want to send my children outside with the thought that maybe they could attack."

Others are quick to look at the positives their new neighbors bring.

"One of the big advantages of having the bobcats around here is that the rabbits that were eating all the green around here have disappeared," said neighbor David Tuttle. "Believe me, that's a big thing for us."

The thought around here is this: The construction up in the hills has forced critters of all kinds down into the neighborhood. Neighbors say they've seen snakes, scorpions, coyotes -- now they can add bobcats to the list.

"It's kind of neat to see, you know, nature, when you're from Long Beach," said Brown. "No one has bought that house, and now we know why."

Neighbors say Animal Control was at the property to set traps. People haven't seen the bobcats in a few days, but who knows when they'll be back.


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