Update: Not wild cats, County Animal Services Deputy Director concludes
By Miriam Raftery
June 2016 (Eastlake)—In 2014 and 2015, East County Magazine has documented dozens of local sightings by people who claim to have seen large black wild cats prowling the region, some as large as mountain lions or jaguars, others smaller but still much larger than a housecat. But thus far, no photos had been provided of the elusive animals.
Then on June 6, 2016,we received cell phone images taken at night by a resident in the Eastlake community of Otay Mesa in Chula Vista, due east of where some earlier sightings were reported in Jamul/Deerhorn Valley and South Spring Valley. It’s hard to judge the size or species, but looking at items such as a vehicle, hydrant , house and a three-feet-high wall in the photos raises a question: what was prowling yards in this suburban neighborhood?