Parents were panicked and students warned to be cautious on the playground and walk home but, in the end, the big cat that put the fear into Westsyde was of the domestic variety.
A large, black house cat with a collar actually.
“I don’t know how we got a bobcat or a lynx out of that,” said school district Supt. Terry Sullivan.
But the warning the Kamloops-Thompson School District received from Kamloops SPCA mid-Thursday afternoon suggested something far less cute and cuddly was loose in Westsyde.
Someone reported that a bobcat or lynx “had gone after a man” in the 2800 block of Westsyde Rd, said Sullivan. The report suggested the cat was smaller than a cougar and likely a bobcat or lynx.
The district contacted all the schools in Westsyde, said Sullivan. Children were asked to walk home in groups and to not approach the animal if they see it.
“It had some kind of collar on it, like someone tried to domesticate it,” Sullivan said prior to the animal being tracked down.
Arthur Stevenson elementary parent Nattaly Franzen phoned The Daily News Thursday afternoon saying her daughters had been told to avoid the playground and stick with other children.
She said stories circulated on the Facebook page Westsyde Family and Friends about a man being attacked by the cat.
The concern was enough to draw the attention of the conservation service, which tracked the offending feline down and notified Sullivan about its true identity.