Watch heart-stopping moment elementary school headteacher legs it as he comes face to face with a black bear that climbs out of a dumpster while he was removing a lock…designed to deter bears
- West Virginia elementary school principal came face-to-face with a black bear
- James Marsh said he was removing a dumpster lock bar ‘designed to deter bears’
This is the astonishing moment an elementary school headteacher came face-to-face with a black bear as it emerged from a dumpster – which was designed to keep bears out.
West Virginia elementary school principal James Marsh can be seen unlocking the dumpster on CCTV footage from Monday, May 1, before running for his life.
Mr Marsh, principal of Zela Elementary School in Summersville, said he was removing a lock bar ‘designed to deter bears’.
The bar evidently did not work, and to the teacher’s surprise a huge bear then pops his head out of the dumpster and looks him directly in the face.
The beast then launches itself out towards him as Mr Marsh legs it.
‘I like wildlife and bears but prefer them more than an arm-length away,’ he said.
‘Video surveillance later showed the bear squeezing in and out of the dumpster all weekend to dine,’ Mr Marsh said.
‘I guess it had a good meal and a nap, lol!’
Seemingly spooked at the encounter, the bear makes off into nearby woodland as Mr Marsh runs in the opposite direction across the parking lot.
At the same time, a colleague of the headteacher looks out of the back door of the school.
She jumps back behind the door, taking cover as she notices the bear jumping out.
According to local reports, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources gave Marsh the dumpster lock because employees had been experiencing issues with bears.
The moment James Marsh realised a black bear was inside the dumpster he was opening
The West Virginia elementary school principal can be seen unlocking the dumpster on CCTV footage from Monday, May 1, before running for his life
The footage showing Mr Marsh’s encounter with the dumpster-diving bear was released by the Nicholas County Board of Education.
While no fatal attacks by a black bear have ever been confirmed in West Virginia, attacks do happen.
In 2019, an adult black bear was killed after a 66-year-old woman called Opal Gillespie was mauled in her own backyard.
Her dog was killed and Ms Gillespie sustained lacerations on her head and neck, along with bruising on her upper body.
The roughly 750,000 black bears across the US kill less than one person per year on the average, according to the North American Bear Center.
The primary reason behind bear attacks is bears protecting their food or cubs, and injuries are usually minor, the National Parks Service says.