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Studious raccoon shuts down B.C. elementary school for the day

A raccoon is seen in a space above ceiling tiles inside South Kelowna Elementary School, in Kelowna, B.C., in a Monday, Feb. 27, 2023, handout photo. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Central Okanagan Public Schools) A raccoon is seen in a space above ceiling tiles inside South Kelowna Elementary School, in Kelowna, B.C., in a Monday, Feb. 27, 2023, handout photo. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Central Okanagan Public Schools)
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KELOWNA, B.C. -

Some students at South Kelowna Elementary School in British Columbia got a surprise day off after a raccoon broke in and got comfortable in the building's ceiling.

A statement from Central Okanagan Public Schools says staff discovered the animal and worried it could pose a risk if cornered, so families were asked to keep their children at home Monday.

Students who weren't able to take the day off were bused to a local middle school.

The statement says conservation officers tried to get the raccoon to leave but it climbed up into the space above the ceiling tiles.

Operations staff were eventually able to gently guide the raccoon out of the space and through a back door just before lunch.

The district says classes are expected to resume as usual Tuesday after staff make sure the school is safe and clean.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 27, 2023

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