James Marsh, the principal of Zela Elementary in Summersville, West Virginia got the shock of his life when he came face-to-face with a black bear that was hiding inside the dumpster.
Marsh, who has been the principal of the school for five years, said that he had never been that close to a bear before and he doubts that many people have.
“You throw stuff in a dumpster,” Marsh told local broadcaster WSAZ. “Things go in it, but you just don’t expect anything that big to come out of it.”
Luckily, the whole incident was caught on a security camera, and the footage has gone viral. In the video, you can see Marsh trying to open the dumpster when suddenly, a black bear pokes its head out.
The principal takes off running, and the bear climbs out of the dumpster and runs away in the opposite direction. Talk about a close call!
“I didn’t even get to open the lid,” Marsh said. “It just popped out of there like a jack-in-the box. It let out a pretty loud growl or roar actually, and that was about the most intimidating thing of the whole event.”
Despite the scary encounter, Marsh and the students at Zela Elementary are taking it in good humor. The principal showed the video to all the students, who thought it was hilarious. In fact, they’re even talking about changing the school mascot from the Mustangs to the Black Bears!
“The students at the school, they wanted to see it, and I showed it to all of them,” he said. “They thought it was just hilarious. I had a couple little girls tell me when you see a bear, you’re not supposed to run.”
The West Virginia Department of Natural Resources has since returned to the school to modify the dumpster to prevent any future bear encounters.
They gave the school a lock last week, but it turns out it wasn’t enough of a deterrent. Lesson learned – when it comes to bears, you need to step up your game!
All in all, it’s a story that will surely have you laughing and scratching your head at the same time. So the next time you’re throwing something in the dumpster, make sure to give it a good look first. You never know who (or what) might be hiding in there!