Snakes, Scorpions, Mountain Lions! 👀 These Real Stories of Animal Visitors to Schools Are Wild

Add this to our “other duties as assigned.”

Paired image of a captured snake and moose walking away as examples of teachers managing wildlife

Teachers know that “other duties as assigned” in our contracts can mean a lot of things. Fishing a piece of ham out of a urinal drain. Dumpster diving for a retainer while on a field trip. Finding fingernail polish remover to use on a student who superglued two fingers together. And sometimes it means teachers managing wildlife.

From mice to moose, see which animals teachers and administrators have found themselves tasked with rescuing, rehoming, removing, or releasing:

Mammals of all sizes

“Last year I had to rescue a baby javelina that was on our campus.”

—Rebekah C., administrator 

A baby javelina as an example of teachers managing wildlife at school

“Reassuring children that I’d deal with the dead rat outside their window!”


—Rosie T.

“Not today, but various times over the years I’ve caught bats that have flown into our building.”

—Chanin A.

“Chasing the neighbor’s horse that got loose off the playground!?”

—Kara M.

“This little guy was found at recess. Luckily I’m the one people call to borrow a cage or catch an animal.”

—Rachel B. 

A baby squirrel as an example of teachers managing wildlife

(If you’d like to read my own school-related baby squirrel saga, be my guest.)

“A chipmunk running into my classroom.”

—Perry A.

“I will scare off moose with a bull horn but there is no way on EARTH I am dealing with a snake!”

—Cathy P., administrator

A moose as an example of teachers managing wildlife

“Making my office a makeshift animal shelter. A kindergartner didn’t want to miss her kitty while she was at school, so she put the kitty in her backpack to keep her safe and brought her to school on the bus.”

—Meghan E.

Bugs, spiders, and creepy-crawlies

“Oh boy. We had a flea infestation once. I can still feel them MOVING on my ankles if I think about it.”

—Jill W.

“Had to scoop up a pair of mating tarantulas off the locker room floor one day! I don’t think they were very happy with me.”

—Serena F.

“Capturing a grasshopper so the kids wouldn’t keep screaming!”

—Doris V.

Other creatures

“I have removed many a scorpion in my day. Just scoop it up in my water tumbler. Toss it outside. Keep teaching.”

—Fran S.

“Morning snake removal!”

—Jeff O., administrator

Snake in a plastic tub as an example of teachers managing wildlife

“It’s usually birds they bring to me; baby birds I can foster and release. I even had a teacher on duty send kids to me with a dead crow dripping blood, right across my carpet—seriously.”

—Lisa M.

“Trying to catch a lizard/salamander/newt in a Crayola box, having it ‘die,’ then wake up and hiss at us.”

—Kristy T.

And if you’re the brave custodian at Pescadero High School in California, I bet you’ll never forget about the day you had to lock a (very cute) mountain lion who wandered onto the campus in an English classroom.

Y’all need a raise.

Have you had an animal encounter as a teacher? Let us know in the comments!

Looking for more articles like this? Subscribe to our newsletters.

We Need To Add Wildlife Management to Teachers’ “Other Duties as Assigned”