School Principal Unlocking Dumpster Gets A Memorable Surprise

A school principal got a huge shock recently when he went to check on the school’s locked dumpster and found it occupied.

James Marsh is the principal at Zela Elementary in West Virginia. On Monday morning he went out to the dumpster to unlock it – he locks up the dumpster every night to keep animals out. But it appears this precaution didn’t keep one animal out, one very large one!

Surveillance video captures the moment when Marsh moves to pull the bar off the lid and as he does a nose pokes out:

It was a big black bear!

Needless to say, both were startled. Thankfully, the bear raced off the moment he got out of the dumpster. Marsh and the bear weren’t the only one to get a fright. Notice the woman opening the door to come outside just happened to witness the memorable moment!

principal finds bear in dumpster

James Marsh / Zela Elementary School

“That will wake a person up,” Marsh said the following day of his bear encounter in an interview with AP News. “That was 7:15 a.m., if you are not already awake that will wake you up.”

“He looked like he was scared, too — as scared as I was,” Marsh said. “He might not be back.”

How the bear managed to squeeze into the locked dumpster over the weekend is a mystery but Marsh has an idea.

He figures that the bear managed to pull back the lock bar to get inside to snack on the garbage but then couldn’t get back out. “It was so big, it was able to pull that lock bar in and out all weekend long,” he said.

Marsh says that he’s lived around wildlife his whole life, but this was closer than he’s ever been. Being a principal he decided to share the experience with his students as an educational moment. He told the Dodo, ““I showed the video to my elementary students, and they thought it was hilarious. I did remind them to respect the space and territory of bears.”

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