A school principal fled for his life when he opened a dumpster only to have a black bear jump out of it.
James Marsh had a scaringly-close encounter with the wild beast when he was unlocking a dumpster at the back of the school building at Zela Elementary School in West Virginia, US.
CCTV footage shared by the Nicholas County Board of Education shows the head teacher walking to the backyard and lifting a crooked T-bar up from the green dumpster.
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As he removes the lock and repositions it to the side, a black bear poked its head out and gave Mr Marsh a surprise.
The startled principal took a moment to realise he was facing an animal within inches.
A school employee opened the building door only to hurriedly close the door and get back inside the building.
Mr Marsh ran to the opposite direction and stayed as far away from the bear as possible.
Luckily, the black bear jumped out of the dumpster and hurried out to the back of a small shed and ran out of camera frame.
Mr Marsh got back on his feet and took a few moments to reflect on his unexpected brush with danger while he was chatting with the employee.
The Nicholas County Board of Education wrote in the video caption, asking: "Who says principals don't deserve hazard pay?"
One commented: "Phew they were nose to nose. Yep he should’ve gotten the day off. Running from a bear before 7:30am has to be a free day, but the fact she shut the door that quick is great."
Others had the same question in their mind: "Who locked a bear in a dumpster?"
"He might have to leave work early to change his pants!" another joked.
A man shared his experience, saying the same situation happened to him not once, but twice when he worked as a school custodian in Tennessee.
He added: "Not surprised. Always a great day when you bust students cutting class."
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