A big cat caused a big scare at a metro elementary school Wednesday.
The playground at Clay Elementary School in Altoona was unusually quiet Wednesday during recess. Kids were kept inside the building amid fears over a mountain lion.
A witness told school officials she saw a mountain lion cross the street about a mile away from the school. Police checked out the area, but didn’t spot any sign of a big cat.
On Monday the manager of an apartment complex on East Hubbell Avenue reported seeing a mountain lion. The complex is about three miles west of the school. Experts say it wouldn't be surprising for a mountain lion to travel that far.
"Absolutely because those big cats can move 30, 40, 50 miles a day pretty easily." says Kevin Baskins with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, "Sometimes greater distances."
This wouldn't be the first time a big cat was spotted in the area. Des Moines police shot and killed a mountain lion near the east mixmaster last October.
Experts say mountain lions rarely attack people.