West Virginia school principal surprised by bear in dumpster

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In what has to have been the video of the day, West Virginia’s Zela Elementary School Principal James Marsh had the surprise of a lifetime for sure! It was on Monday, May 1, 2023, that Marsh had unlocked the dumpster outside of the school in Summersville when somehow a black bear had managed to get inside of the dumpster over the weekend. The lock had just been installed the previous week because the trash bags had been torn apart.

So picture this! Marsh had arrived at school and went out to the rear of the building to unlock the dumpster; mind you – chained up at night to avoid critters getting into it, and no sooner had the principal released the lock, a growling and sour sounding bear began pushing up the lid.

As can be seen quite clearly from the video, the moment Marsh sees the bear popping his very unfriendly head out of the trash bin, the man started to run. The bear jumped out and ran off just as quickly (or maybe even quicker).

The entire incident was videoed by the school’s security camera and has been shared across social media thousands of times.

The West Virginia Department of Natural Resources has since been out to the school and has made some modifications to the lock. The bet is on however, that this particular black bear was so scared at his brief encounter, he may very well have chosen a new destination to dine and nap.

Check out the video:


Hubby sent this video to me this morning! That’s him. He’s the principal of Zela elementary school.¬†Zoom in on the exact moment it comes out! They were literally face to face for a second! Lol

Shawna Marsh

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