Another possible cougar sighting was reported late Friday morning by a passing driver who said a big cat crossed the highway by the Key Peninsula Middle School.
The school was placed on “modified lockdown,” according to office secretary Alisha Beesinger, which meant students were not allowed outside without adult supervision.
“As far as I know (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife) was called and came out to check up on the sighting,” said Carla Swaintston, a para-educator at the school. “We did not hear from them before the end of the school day.”
Beesinger said the principal’s announcement of the cougar sighting was received without trepidation.
“The kids seem pretty used to it,” she said, explaining this was not the first time for the students to hear of wild animals in their backyard. “We had to do this several times with black bear sightings too.”
Word of the sighting once again lit up the Key Peninsula’s Facebook page.
“We live in the country folks and are going to see cougars and bears from time to time. I can appreciate using caution but i would certainly hope there is nobody planning to trap and move any animals. The woods behind the dump and ball fields have always held bears,” Sean Whittmore said in a post on the social media site.
Judy Watt chimed in with a meek explainer on the natural order of the wild: “I really hate to say this, but from time to time the deer population needs thinning out.”
The sighting did not rattle many on the Peninsula who seem used to living with wild animals in their backyards. It even elicited memories of past experiences that would seem normal out on this stick of land.
“We used to have a good sized cougar at KPMS that would lay in the sun on a large boulder at the far end of the field. It was always very early in the morning before the students arrived. As soon as he/she heard the first bus roll in, it would head back into the woods,” Swainston said. “We were never concerned, mostly because he was long gone before the kids got to the back side of the school.”
Beesinger just seemed mildly disappointed: “I have not had the pleasure of seeing one with my own eyes.”
Read what an experienced Fish and Wildlife enforcement officer has to say about his job:
Read about a sighting earlier last week: