KELSO, Wash. — A cougar spotted in Kelso on Thursday afternoon prompted the cancellation and delay of school activities.
The cougar was seen by a man at around 3:15 p.m. as he was walking through Brookhollow Mobile Home Park, near Coweeman Middle School and Kelso High School, police said. The man said the cat didn't seem bothered by the presence of people in the area.
The report of the cougar sighting led to the cancellation of a Coweeman Middle School football game.
"We were on the field getting ready to make a play on offense and our principal came out and yelled to stop the game," said April Huff, a player's mother.
Police and Washington State wildlife officials quickly set up a containment in a wooded area just northwest of the Kelso High School soccer field. A drone was also used to help search the area. Despite their efforts, police were unable to find the cougar.
As a safety precaution teachers were given protocols and safeguards based on fish and wildlife advice.
"They will have heard by now or then that there was a sighting of a cougar and to remind them of things like stay in groups and be aware of their surrounding at all times," said Michelle Larson, communications manager.
Anyone who sees a cougar is asked to immediately call 911 and provide as many details as possible to assist officers in finding the animal. For additional information on what to do if you come across a cougar visit https://wdfw.wa.gov/living/cougars.html.