Suspected Bobcat That Caused School to Close Was Just a Cat

A "bobcat" spotted roaming the halls of a high school in Scranton, Pennsylvania, has turned out to be a domestic cat.

Students at West Scranton High School were sent home on Tuesday morning after officials thought they saw a wild animal on surveillance footage, reported WNEP-TV.

School officials checked the footage after a burglar alarm went off over Memorial Day weekend. Animal control officers initially identified the animal in the video as a bobcat, according to WNEP-TV News, and notified the state's Game Commission.

Surveillance cameras captured the cat walking on tables in the school's cafeteria and the wildlife officials spent around two hours searching the building for the intruder, according to 6ABC.

Animal control eventually set a trap in the school's attic. But when the feline was finally caught, it turned out to be a missing pet.

The animal was taken to Griffin Pond Animal Shelter in South Abington Township, where it was identified via a microchip. Kashi the cat is a clouded jack breed who had been separated from his owners for three months. He has now been reunited with his family.

Kashi's owner Sheanine Johnson told 6ABC: "[He] had us for a little bit of a run around town, trying to follow up leads and stuff, and then behold, he's at West [Scranton High School]! So, sorry guys."

The animal control officers who thought Kashi was a bobcat made an understandable mistake, however. Game Warden Jon Bowman told local media that the clouded jack "looks identical, the colors of a bobcat, it's missing a tail. So, it's erring on the side of caution, we want to make sure all the students are safe and the staff are safe."

Scranton School District Superintendent Melissa McTiernan told WNEP-TV: "I don't think anyone would have predicted this, of course, but again, our staff and students did a wonderful job not reacting, just quietly got out of the building and we will let the professionals, animal control, do their job."

Staff and students worked from home on Wednesday while the Game Commission confirmed there were no bobcats in the building.

Although it would have been a shock to see a wild animal at a high school, bobcats can be found in Pennsylvania. But rather than a cafeteria, they tend to live in forested mountains, swamps, agricultural areas and suburban woods.

The bobcat is Pennsylvania's only feline predator. It tends to have gray-brown fur with dark spots and bars, which are especially noticeable on the legs, according to the Game Commission.

The lips, chin and the underside of the neck and belly are white, and a ruff of fur extends out and downward from the ears.

Newsweek has contacted West Scranton High School for comment.

Bobcat
A bobcat seen in Pasadena, California. Officials at a school in Scranton, Pennsylvania, thought a bobcat was wandering its halls, but the animal turned out to be a domestic cat that had gone missing. Gregg DeGuire/WireImage/Getty