Alleged cougar sighting had schools keeping kids indoors
Heather Wright, CTV Barrie
Published Tuesday, March 18, 2014 6:40PM EDT
Reports of a cougar in Innisfil had half a dozen elementary schools taking precautions this afternoon by keeping kids in for recess.
News of the cougar sighting spread quickly through Innisfil today. Concerned parents were calling police, schools, and the town asking what was being done to keep kids safe.
“Safety of our students is our number one concern,” says Heather Macleod, principal at Killarney Beach, one of the six schools where kids were kept inside today as a precaution.
“I personally spoke to all the classes to let them know that they were kept in for recess because of this alleged sighting and that the (Ministry of Natural Resources) was looking into it and the police and that their safety was our utmost concern.”
While kids played inside, police investigated the sighting and it turns out, the children’s safety was never at risk.
“We tracked down the individual, who believed they saw the cougar. That same individual took photos of some footprints left in the snow. Those photos were sent to the MNR and they deemed them to be either a canine, dog or a coyote,” says Sgt. Todd Ferrier with South Simcoe Police.
While this was a false alarm, police say they want residents to call them if they have concerns about an animal or if they spot wildlife that is out of the ordinary.