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Grand Prairie students greeted by a raccoon the day after Thanksgiving break

District and campus worked immediately to relocate the raccoon back outdoors

Grand Prairie High School students and faculty spotted a raccoon darting around the cafeteria floors of campus Monday afternoon, district officials said.

Grand Prairie ISD spokesman Sam Buchmeyer said he was alerted of an animal lurking inside the school’s campus at 12:23 p.m. on Nov. 28. Monday marked the first day students returned to classrooms after Thanksgiving break.

It is possible the raccoon may have slipped inside from “wooded areas” outdoors, Buchmeyer said. The high school is just a street away from a 62-acre recreational area called Turner Park.

Staff members worked to relocate the raccoon outside once they spotted it in the cafeteria. The school also called in district staff members to assist with the situation.

“They came in and worked with campus staff to corral the little guy, and then they took him off campus and released him,” Buchmeyer said.

Officials told students standing nearby to give them some space to clear the wild animal from campus. Buchmeyer said the raccoon was likely looking for either food or water while walking around the cafeteria.

No students or staff were hurt or injured by the raccoon, campus officials reported. The high school enrolls around 3,000 students and around 200 teachers.

Grand Prairie News tweeted a video of the raccoon scurrying around the cafeteria floors of GPHS:

While most raccoons do not act aggressively toward humans, they can bite or hurt people if they feel spooked or threatened, according to the Human Society of the U.S. Healthy raccoons generally do not attack people.

Raccoons are also one of the main carriers of rabies, second to only bats, according to the CDC.

The furry animal has not been spotted inside the high school before, but this isn’t Grand Prairie’s first time dealing with an unwelcome visitor.

Last summer, a highly venomous cobra escaped its enclosure, causing people to panic across North Texas. The owner of the snake, which is indigenous to West Africa, was arrested earlier this year for violating the state’s wildlife code.

The black and beige snake’s whereabouts are still unknown.

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