Fairfax County

Possible Cougar Sighting Reported Near Fairfax County Elementary School

Some students in Fairfax County will spend recess inside Friday after a cougar sighting was reported near an elementary school.

Police say they've received multiple reports about a big cat around Riverside Elementary School on Old Mount Vernon Road in the Old Mount Vernon section of the county.

Lori Morton, the principal at Riverside, says the school has been taking precautions since staff members spotted the wild animal roaming near the school. Recess at the school was canceled on Thursday and again on Friday, Morton said in a letter to parents. 

There are several other schools in the area.

Animal Control officers have not seen any evidence of a cougar in the area so far, but they plan to set up wildlife cameras in the area.

Reports have described the cougar as being sandy orange and the size of a large dog.

Animal Control officers will patrol the area Friday.

If you believe you've spotted the wild animal, you are asked to call police at 703-691-2131.

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