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Update: Raccoon flunks out of Kelowna elementary school

South Kelowna Elementary closed for the day after a visit by a raccoon
This raccoon was responsible for canceling classes at South Kelowna Elementary Feb. 27. (Photo/School District #23)

Update 12:51 p.m.

A raccoon was safely captured and released a few hours after it decided to attend South Kelowna Elementary on Feb. 27.

According to a statement from Central Okanagan Public Schools, operations staff were able to gently guide the raccoon out of the ceiling space and out an open back door just before lunch.

Staff is now working to replace ceiling tiles and thoroughly clean the school to make sure it’s ready for learning as usual tomorrow.

“We are grateful to the SKE families and staff for their flexibility and for keeping everyone safe, as well as the staff at Canyon Falls Middle for quickly accommodating and providing learning opportunities for the students who were unable to stay home,” the statement reads.


Maybe it was looking to learn reading, writing, and arithmetic, but a visit by a curious raccoon ended up canceling classes at South Kelowna Elementary.

Families were asked to keep children home from school the morning of Feb. 27 after staff discovered the raccoon had entered the building.

An emailed statement from Central Okanagan Public Schools says that despite attempts by conservation officers to get the raccoon to leave the building and trap it, the animal climbed up into the space between the ceiling tiles and ceiling.

Due to the potential risk posed to staff and students, if the animal felt cornered, classes were canceled to keep everyone, and the animal safe.

Families were notified as soon as possible to keep their children home if they were able, and that students who had already arrived at school would attend Canyon Falls Middle School by bus for alternative programming.

Operations staff continue to work with conservation and pest control to make sure the school is safe and clean after the wildlife visit.

School is expected to resume as usual Feb. 28.

READ MORE: Large herd of bighorn sheep get comfortable in Okanagan Falls yard


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Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Recently joined Kelowna Capital News and WestK News as a multimedia journalist in January 2022. With almost 30 years of experience in news reporting and radio broadcasting...
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