Bear spotting prompts brief lockdown at Issaquah school

ISSAQUAH, Wash. -- A bear sighting on campus prompted the Issaquah Valley Elementary School to be placed under lockdown briefly on Wednesday morning.

School officials alerted police and the state Department of Fish and Wildlife after a bear and her cubs were spotted on the front lawn of the school.

"I looked outside the window and there's a mom and three cubs sauntered over to the elementary school," said Jacob Kuper. "After that, I just went to elementary and said might want to lock the building down since there are several bears outside."

The lockdown was lifted around noon after officials, with the help of a bear-sniffing dog, confirmed the bears were no longer in the area.

"If the bear was here, (the) dog would pick up on it and the bear isn't here," said Officer Bruce Richards with the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Richards said the bears likely left the woods for the nearby creek in search of salmon.

"People just need to leave it alone and she's gonna take her cubs back up on the mountain and may come back and do this until the salmon are gone too," he said.

The one-hour lockdown affected kindergartners whose mid-day dismissals were delayed by the incident.