LEMON GROVE (CNS) - A mountain lion roamed into an East County commercial district Tuesday, prompting a precautionary search of the area but eluding further sightings.
A passing driver spotted the big cat near a warehouse-style grocery store in the 7400 block of Broadway in Lemon Grove about 7:30 a.m., sheriff's Sgt. Matt Cook said. The man captured an image of the animal with his cell phone and then ran some errands before reporting the encounter about 90 minutes later.
"The animal appeared (in the photo) to be lying in the bushes of a vacant lot just west of the Food4Less," Cook said. "Deputies checked the area but were unable to locate the mountain lion."
The patrol personnel were surprised that no one else reported seeing the "pretty big cat" in the busy area, which does not abut any open-space reserves, Cook said.
Sheriff's personnel notified the state Department of Fish and Game about the sighting.
Anyone spotting the animal was asked to call 911 immediately.