Mountain lion sighting sends two Loomis schools into lock down

By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
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Both Loomis Grammar School and Del Oro High School went into lock-down mode Tuesday, Sep. 23, while officials searched the area for a mountain lion. According to Rick Judd, Loomis Grammar School principal, the Placer County Sheriff's Department contacted him at 8 a.m. on Tuesday to inform him that a mountain lion had been spotted during the night by a resident living on Sun Knoll Drive. The street is located at the back of the school off of King Road. Judd immediately broadcast an e-mail and voice message to all school families telling them of the incident and asking them to be cautious. Minutes later, Judd said his school secretary received another call reporting an unconfirmed sighting of a mountain lion running along a fence top. Loomis School went on lock down from about 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. while a thorough search by Sheriff’s deputies, Department of Fish and Game officers and school officials was conducted. School officials confirmed that Del Oro High School also went into lock-down mode while officials searched the area. No trace of the animal was found. Fish and Game warden Mark Jeter helped in the search and has yet to confirm the sighting with the Sheriff’s deputy who responded to the initial mountain lion call. “If it was a mountain lion, it’s not going to stay in the area,” Jeter said. Jeter surmised that the animal probably traveled on a creek green belt corridor. Judd said that Loomis School operated under the assumption that the animal was still in the area. He said that as a precaution, Loomis School students were only allowed to play outside during the day on the blacktop area with increased supervision. The school also cancelled a scheduled after-school basketball game. Parents whose children normally walk home from school were asked to pick their children up in person.