NICHOLAS COUNTY, WV (WOWK) — BEAR-Y IMPORTANT NEWS: Deputy State Superintendent Dr. Sara Lewis-Stankus presented Zela Elementary School Principal James Marsh with a stuffed bear, “in recognition of his valor and bravery.”

The stuffed bear was presented on behalf of State Superintendent Dave Roach, according to the Nicholas County Board of Education.

Marsh had quite the surprise Monday when a black bear popped out of a locked dumpster.

Marsh said the incident, which happened on Monday, May 1, wasn’t their first sighting. The bear first appeared about a week ago, leaving behind a mess of garbage bags outside. It was also spotted this past weekend crawling in and out of the locked dumpster.

Despite it lurking around, Marsh said he was still caught off guard when all of a sudden the bear’s head popped out as he was trying to open the lid.

“We had other staff that had walked right by the dumpster on their way to the building and they did not hear a peep and the dumpster was locked,” he said. “I would not expect anything to be inside the locked dumpster. I would never dream to even think about that but I can assure you, I do now.”