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Lion Sighted in Mission Viejo

October 15, 1987

A mountain lion was spotted in the backyard of a Mission Viejo house about dusk Wednesday, bringing sheriff's deputies and animal control officers to the area.

"It was just staring at me," said Debbie Montgomery, who lives at the house. "The scary thing is that I have a 4-year-old and a 6-year-old."

Montgomery said she saw the big cat, estimated to weigh 60 pounds, lying beneath a rabbit hutch. The rabbits were replacements for two large pet ducks that were mauled and eaten in the yard two months ago.

After running into the house, which backs onto El Toro Road and an area called "Old Wilderness Glen," Montgomery said she saw the cat leap over a wrought iron fence more than 6 feet high and flee into the bushes. Animal control officers plan to resume their search today.

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