When it emerged from a dumpster outside an elementary school in West Virginia growling and roaring, a black bear gave the principal quite the alarm. Surveillance footage captured the startling incident.
James Marsh, the principal of Zela Elementary School, was shocked to learn that despite installing a lock bar, the bear had still managed to enter the dumpster over the weekend. The bear started prying up the dumpster lid Monday as Marsh unlocked it.
“That will wake a person up,” Marsh said Tuesday in a phone interview. “That was 7:15 a.m. If you are not already awake, that will wake you up.”
As soon as the bear’s head appeared, Marsh sprinted away. The encounter was captured on a school security camera and has since been extensively shared on social media. The bear then jumped out and rushed out.
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“He looked like he was scared, too – as scared as I was,” Marsh said. “He might not be back.”
In a Facebook post alongside the video, the Nicholas County Board of Education said, “Who says principals don’t deserve hazard pay???”
After discovering several torn-open waste bags outside, the school in Nicholas County, roughly 70 miles east of the state capital of Charleston, placed the lock on the dumpster last week.
“It was so big, it was able to pull that lock bar in and out all weekend long,” he said.
The West Virginia Department of Natural Resources changed the lock due to Marsh’s experience.
“We will see how it does,” Marsh said. “He didn’t come back last night.”
Marsh, who spoke to CBS affiliate WOWK-TV, presented the video to his students, who were highly amused by it.
“I laughed so hard I couldn’t breathe afterwards,” said Serenity Taylor and Ava Breedlove, fifth graders at Zela Elementary School. “We just laughed so hard we couldn’t breathe.”
According to authorities, a black bear bit a woman in Connecticut who was walking her dog last month.
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