On Monday morning, a West Virginia school principal came nose to nose with a nosey bear in a hilarious, terrifying video. The hungry bear was dumpster diving in the school trash bin, and when the principal thought he was unlocking the dumpster, out popped Yogi as the frightened administrator and startled bear parted ways at top speed.
The decision had only recently been made by Zela Elementary principal James Marsh and the superintendent of Nicolas County Schools, Donna Burge-Tetrick, to start locking up the dumpsters because they had previously seen a bear roaming around, looking for snacks. Clearly, someone forgot to lock up this time. Check this out.
Security footage shows Marsh unlocking the dumpster before the bear popped out, prompting the principal to run away. The bear fled in the opposite direction of the principal into nearby woods.
“I think the bear was as scared of the principal as the principal was the bear,” Superintendent Donna Burge-Tetrick said.
After watching the security video, it became apparent that the bear entered and exited the locked dumpster multiple times.
Food is a strong motivator for wild animals, and bears have a keen sense of smell. Most all campgrounds where there is even the hint of a bear will have signs posted to keep food suspended far off the ground and not to leave trash around, lest Boo Boo and Yogi molest your campsite and mistake a human in a sleeping bag for a loaded burrito. Small wonder the peckish bear found his way past the locks and added security into the dumpster.
— ABC News (@ABC) May 2, 2023
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Principal James Marsh had this to say, likely after changing into clean pants:
“You put trash in a dumpster, but you don’t expect anything to come out!” Marsh said. “That was an unexpected surprise!”
“It all happened so fast, and I am glad that nobody got hurt, and I can laugh about it now! For my students’ and staff safety though, I would prefer this bear find his meals elsewhere,” he continued.
Naturally, the students thought it was hilarious and were quick to point out the first rule of a bear encounter: don’t run!
Marsh admitted that his students reminded him not to run when confronted with a bear.
Bear encounters can be avoided if humans keep their distance, pay attention to their surroundings and stay calm, according to tips provided by the National Park Service.
As in any potentially dangerous situation, it is imperative to stay calm. Most wild animals will react to an emotional outburst or a sudden move. In the case of a bear encounter, keeping one’s head is key for keeping one’s head and other potentially tasty body parts. Luckily the bear, in this case, was just as startled as Marsh was, and tragedy was avoided, both for the principal and the hungry black bear.
Featured image screen grab from embedded Tweet