Students at a Nanaimo elementary school are being warned to avoid the nearby forest after a report of a possible cougar sighting.

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools notified parents of Uplands Elementary School students Wednesday that there had been a possible cougar sighting near the school.

Conservation officer Stuart Bates says the conservation authority was alerted at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday that a homeowner saw two eyes staring out from the darkness, after initially thinking that two raccoons were fighting in the forest.

The school district notified parents to tell their kids not to walk through the forest as a safety precaution.

Bates said cougar sightings are not uncommon in the area, adding that there have been six cougar sightings this month in Nanaimo.