Students at View Royal elementary were ushered into the school during recess on Thursday after a cougar was spotted on near a playing field.
Principal Rob Parker was one of the supervisors on duty, Jan. 12, during the recess. While watching the children, Parker saw a cougar in the woods along the E&N railway. The cougar was not seen on school grounds.
“It looked like a real cougar and it was about 100 metres away,” Parker said. “I’ve never seen that before.”
The woods and railway track are separated from the school field by a six-foot-high fence. The field is off limits for the students during winter months.
“We immediately instructed the students get back in the building,” Parker said. “As a precaution we kept the students inside at lunch too.”
West Shore RCMP and conservation officers were called and attended, but were unable to determine if a cougar was in the area.
The school sent a letter home to the parents informing them of the incident. Students who walk to and from school alone called their parents to see if they could get picked up instead.
“We just wanted to err on the side of caution,” Parker said. “Students and staff responded immediately and under the situation I am very happy it ended successfully.”