Taking advantage of a slump in real estate, a family of bobcats has moved into a foreclosed Lake Elsinore home, lolling about on fences...

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LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. — Taking advantage of a slump in real estate, a family of bobcats has moved into a foreclosed Lake Elsinore home, lolling about on fences and walls and riveting a neighborhood.

Neighbors first noticed the feline squatters Aug. 27 hanging out on a side wall of the empty house. At first, they thought the animals were mountain lions, and someone called 911.

Four police units arrived, ordering everyone off the street and into their homes.

But once the officers realized the animals were bobcats, they — like many of the neighbors — started snapping cellphone pictures.

Since then, animal-control officials have been going door to door in the neighborhood, warning residents to keep an eye on their children and pets and not to leave water outside. It is unclear whether they plan to remove the animals.

The foreclosed home is one of several on the block. Its lawn is brown but still being watered by sprinklers. The house sits next to barren, chaparral-covered hills.

At least two adult bobcats and perhaps a litter of young ones appear to be occupying the house.

Residents have mixed emotions about their new neighbors: They don’t want them hurt, but they worry about sharing their block with them.

“We came here to get away from the city and get closer to nature,” said Scott Brown, 36, who lives across the street from the foreclosed house. “They are great neighbors, and as long as they don’t want to baby-sit my kids, it’s not a problem.”