Georgetown school locked down after bear wanders onto campus

Students at American River Charter School in Georgetown were locked in their classrooms briefly this morning after a bear visited the campus.

The bear strolled onto campus at about 9:30 a.m., according to a press release from the El Dorado County Office of Education.

“School officials immediately implemented their lock-down procedures and alerted Fish and Game,” according to the statement.

The lockdown ended after the bear left the area, about 45 minutes later. Students were unaware of the bear’s visit until it had already left the campus, said school secretary Margaret Bueghly.

The trespasser was a small black bear that has been in the area for several months, said El Dorado County Office of Education spokeswoman Dina Gentry.

American River Charter School is located across a field from Georgetown School. Because of the bear’s proximity to two schools, a wildlife biologist is scheduled to return to the area Monday to determine if the bear needs to be found and relocated, Bueghly said.

American River Charter School and Georgetown School are part of the Black Oak Mine Unified School District.

“Student and staff safety is always our top priority, and I thank everyone for (their) patience and understanding during this incident. We lifted the lock down only after it was absolutely safe to do so,” Superintendent Dr. Robert Williams said in a statement.

It marks the second notable animal encounter in Georgetown this week. A bobcat was euthanized Monday after killing two pet cats and maiming another in the area.

Call The Bee’s Diana Lambert, (916) 321-1090. Follow her on Twitter @dianalambert.