WKE takes precautions after bear seen near school

Shelter in place protocols were followed at WKE after reports that a bear had been seen in the vicinity of the school

Shelter in place protocols were followed at William Konkin Elementary (WKE) after reports that a bear had been seen in the vicinity of the school last week.

At approximately 2:10 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 15, WKE received several calls from community members saying a bear had been seen near the area.

“After contacting local authorities, it was decided that the school would follow their shelter in place protocols as an extra precaution,” explained Manu Madhok, assistant superintendent for School District No. 91 (Nechako Lakes).

Shelter in place protocols allow the school to continue with the normal school day, but forbids outside activity.

“As this occurred late in the school day, parents were called to pick up their children who normally walk home,” said Madhok.

School buses ran at the regular times and RCMP officers were on the property during dismissal.

“Our reports indicated that no bear was located by authorities,” said Madhok.

According to Burns Lake conservation officer Jeff Palm, conservation officers have been unable to locate anyone who actually saw a bear near the school.

“There seems to be third-hand reports that someone saw bear tracks in the snow,” he said.

“With winter weather moving in, bears should be going into hibernation very soon,” he added.