Video: Woodinville school principal stunned by close encounter with cougar

Screenshot from surveillance video shows the cougar's reflection in the window as it stares at Principal Bob Hagin and his wife. (Photo courtesy of Bob Hagin)

WOODINVILLE, Wash. - The principal of a Woodinville school got the shock of his life Friday as he looked out the window of his office and saw a wild cougar pawing at the glass and staring at him. The cougar later was captured on surveillance video as it eyeballed the principal and his wife through another window at the school.

The incident unfolded Friday at about 6 p.m. as Bob Hagin, the principal at Northwest Liberty School, was working in his office. He heard a strange sound, went to check it out and saw a cougar on the other side of the window, pawing at the glass and looking right at him.

The principal says he was too stunned to grab a camera. Instead he called his wife and asked her to come pick him up so he wouldn't have to walk home with the big cat lurking there.

After his wife arrived, they walked into a darkened classroom and saw two eyes gleaming in the darkness on the other side of a window. They turned on the lights and a surveillance camera captured the cougar's reflection as it stared through the window at the stunned couple.

Northwest Liberty School, which has junior-high and high-school age students, is located in an urbanized area of Woodinville, across the street from a Dairy Queen and only a block away from the Highway 522 interchange. But it borders Little Bear Creek, which is probably the route the cougar took to get to the school.

Hagin says he contacted an agent at the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, who reassured him that the animal would not stick around.

Later, Hagin discovered the video footage of the cougar staring through the window and posted it on the school's Facebook page.

"It was an amazing encounter," he says.

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