Conservation officers are warning the public to avoid the wooded areas around Queneesh Elementary after a cougar was sighted today near the elementary school on Mission Road in Courtenay.

Conservation Officers were notified immediately of the cougar sighting and conducted a search but have not located the animal.

The school immediately implemented the emergency response protocols for a Shelter-in-Place to ensure student safety during the investigation.

On the direction of the B.C. Conservation Officer Service, the school district is recommending students and families avoid these areas for the next couple of days as they continue their search.

Schools will continue classroom instruction and signage has been posted on the grounds around each school as an additional reminder to staff, students, families, and visitors to be vigilant and
avoid the wooded areas.

As more information becomes available it will be shared with our school communities.

Should anyone spot wildlife in the community that could pose a threat to safety, contact the B.C. Conservation Officer Service immediately at 1-877-952- 7277.