Bobcat spotted on Westview High School campus

SAN DIEGO - A bobcat made an appearance on the grounds of Westview High School Tuesday, prompting police and state wildlife personnel to search the campus and surrounding open areas as a precaution.

A school employee reported the sighting at the Torrey Highlands campus shortly before 10 a.m., saying staffers had chased away the bobcat upon spotting it near a student swimming pool, SDPD Detective Gary Hassen said.

Patrol officers checked out the area and called in the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. There were no reports of anyone being threatened by the wild feline, Hassen said.

No pictures were taken of the bobcat, but officials believe it may be the same bobcat that was sitting in the ice plant quietly watching marching band competition on the football field in mid-November.

The photo shows the animal alert but not threatening.

Neighbors are aware, but are apparently not overly concerned.

Rossana Molino told 10News, "I think this is a safe area. If they saw the bobcat, I think it's not dangerous."

Julie Qiu, another young mother who lives nearby, added, "We have seen bobcats a lot of times here. Neighbors saw a bobcat so yes, I think we do have to be cautious about it."

Fish and Wildlife officials were notified and high school staff kept a watchful eye as Westview parents were sent a notification advising of the sighting and saying, "At no point was the animal a direct threat or danger."

Running and cycling are popular in the area, but there are no real worries there.

Kevin LaClaire and Steve Godwin were riding bicycles alongside state Route 56. LaClaire wasn't concerned.

"I've never seen any. Sometimes I'm worried about it when I go on a run but usually on a bike I'm not worried about it," said LaClaire.

Godwin agreed, "You know I've never seen a bobcat or mountain lion out riding. You see some wildlife when you're out trail-riding and mountain biking but I'm not thinking about it while I'm riding. Just like ... if you're going to go swim in the ocean you might think about a shark; once you're out in the water and you see other people out there, there's nothing to worry about."

Ten months ago, there was a sighting alongside Oak Valley Middle School, a few miles north and east in 4S Ranch.

10News found tracks, measured them and asked an expert at the San Diego Natural History Museum. He wasn't certain but thought this was a bigger cat, a mountain lion.

It, too, vanished without being seen again.

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