ISSAQUAH, Wash. - An Issaquah elementary school was locked down Wednesday morning after a bear and her cubs were spotted on the front lawn of the campus, the Issaquah Schools Facebook page said.
The adult bear and three cubs were filmed running outside a window at Issaquah Valley Elementary as students in the classroom yelled excitedly about the spectacle.
The bears walked between the main building and a portable where Steve Boynton teaches fourth grade.
“(The students) were excited, but nobody was scared. It was safe. (Then) we got back going; we still learned something today,” said Boynton.
Principal Diane Holt said the incident was a good chance to practice the school's lockdown procedures.
“Everyone did a great job. Teachers did a great job. Staff did a great job. We got everybody fed and at recess. Got them a 20 minute recess and we still got them home,” said Holt.
Fish and Wildlife officers with a Carillion bear dog searched for the bears, but they were not found.
After officials were certain the bears had left the area, the school returned to its normal activities.
The school is about a block away from Issaquah Creek, which has plentiful salmon at this time of year, but it is not common for bears to wander onto school grounds.
A state wildlife official told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News it's common to see black bears in the Issaquah area and there are a lot of fruit trees and open garbage cans in addition to the lure of the nearby creek.
If bears become a nuisance, they are generally trapped and moved, but officials said the four bears haven't reached that stage yet.
The teachers said they are going to incorporate Wednesday’s excitement into their lessons. The fourth graders are studying ecology.