Mountain lion found trapped in Bay Area high school classroom taken to Oakland Zoo


PESCADERO, Calif. (KGO) — A mountain lion made an unexpected visit to a classroom at Pescadero High School on Wednesday morning.

The students were locked up and eventually released early while a plan to safely get this mountain lion out of the classroom was formulated.

The district says it’s not uncommon for a mountain lion to approach campus but never inside a classroom.

Students and staff were safe, as was the mountain lion which is described by authorities as a juvenile male.

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The commotion happened just before 8.30am on Wednesday morning as pupils were due to start their penultimate day of the school year.

“I’m walking down the hall, everyone is panicked,” student Mairol Hernandez said. “I asked what was going on and they were like, ‘Come into the classroom! Come into the classroom!”

The school district superintendent tells us that the mountain lion cub wandered around the school as the students arrived for the day.

“It was right before school,” said Amy Wooliever, superintendent of the La Honda-Pescadero Unified School District. “The door was left open as a student came out, then the cat came in.”

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The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office said a quick-witted staff member closed the door and was able to keep the puma in an English classroom where he spent most of the day .

No students or staff were inside the classroom at the time.

Just after 3 p.m., the California Department of Fish and Wildlife managed to get the mountain lion out of the classroom.

“We used a dart tranquilizer gun to inject a mixture of medication into the animal through the dart and it went well, with no issues,” said John Krause of Fish and Wildlife.

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Krause says the animal was lean but otherwise appeared healthy.

He was taken to the Oakland Zoo for a full evaluation.

The unexpected visitor had a major impact on school activities, Thursday is the last day of school and the finals were scheduled for Wednesday with the eighth grade graduation.

The district is working to reschedule these activities.

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