Cougar sighted near Snoqualmie Middle School

March 1, 2013

By Contributed

At 8 a.m. March 1, a Snoqualmie Middle School staff member reported seeing a cougar in one of the school’s fields on the back side of the building. The cat was seen near their baseball backstop, then walked into the forested wetlands area that borders the school’s fields, according to an announcement on Mount Si High School’s website.

The school notified police, its staff and two other schools in the area to ensure student safety.

Police investigated this morning but found no cougar. The officer explained that because this is elk calving season, it’s not uncommon for cougar to be sniffing around, given the significant herd of elk that lives in nearby fields.

As a precaution, schools are taking the following steps today:

Snoqualmie Middle School staff will be supervising students during passing times outside and PE classes will be held indoors.

Snoqualmie Elementary School staff will also be on the look-out today when they escort students who transition between buildings. They are also having recess indoors today, as a precaution. Also, SES is notifying parents of the few students who walk or bike home, in case parents want to escort their kids home this afternoon. Otherwise, those students will be instructed to travel in groups on sidewalks (no shortcuts through fields) and to be aware of their surroundings.

Mount Si High School also notified all staff this morning to use discretion.

Because our area is also home to a variety of wildlife, the school is urging families to always exercise awareness and discretion. Anyone who sees or encounters a cougar or bear is asked to report it to the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife at 775-1311. If it is an emergency, call 911.

To learn more about “Living with Wildlife,” visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website at: http://wdfw.wa.gov/living/cougars.html.

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