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The Associated Press

PORT ORCHARD – Hidden Creek Elementary School in Port Orchard is telling parents not to let children walk to or from school while a big bear may be in nearby woods.

South Kitsap School District spokeswoman Lisa Kirkemo says parents should drive their children, if they don’t take the bus.

The school went into a modified lockdown Thursday after a staff member reported seeing a “very large bear” and three coyotes behind the school near some woods. No students are allowed on the playgrounds or outside without an adult.

Kirkemo says state Fish and Wildlife agents responded but didn’t find the bear. She says they may return with a trap.

It’s apparently a coincidence that the coyotes were seen with the bear. She says “Critters are just out there.”