Nation & World

This Washington principal heard pawing at his office window. It was a wild cougar.

Cougar's reflection caught on camera as it peers into windows of Washington school

A surveillance camera at Northwest Liberty School in Woodinville, Wash., caught footage of a cougar as the animal peered into school windows. The big cat stared down principal Bob Hagin as he worked in his office.
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A surveillance camera at Northwest Liberty School in Woodinville, Wash., caught footage of a cougar as the animal peered into school windows. The big cat stared down principal Bob Hagin as he worked in his office.

Bob Hagin was working late in his office at Northwest Liberty School on Friday when he heard a scratching sound coming from a nearby study lab. Confused, he went to see what was causing the commotion — and came face-to-face with a cougar.

Hagin, the principal at a Seattle metro area private school, told KOMO television station that he was too stunned to grab a camera. Fortunately, the encounter was caught on a surveillance video.

The principal told KOMO that his wife came to pick him up and they walked into a dark classroom where they could see the mountain lion’s gleaming eyes on the other side of a window. When they turned the lights on in the classroom, the couple came into view on the video, with the big cat reflected on the other side.

The pair watched the animal for several minutes, slowly inching closer to the window before the cougar turned tail and calmly walked away.

In a comment on the school’s Facebook page, Hagin said he saw the cougar several times, and even noticed lick marks on one of the school windows.

“Right after I saw the cougar the third time, a woman was walking across our parking lot toward my last sighting. I intercepted and brought her into the school as she told me about the search for her big cat. ‘Well, there definitely is a big cat back there but probably not yours,’” Hagin wrote.

Some commenters said they’d seen the cougar around the area. Hagin wrote on Facebook that local Fish and Game “reassured us that the animal will not stick around.”

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