A California teen who charged at a huge brown bear in the backyard of her home says it was a split-second decision she made in order to save her beloved dogs.
Hailey Morinico, 17, was seen on her home surveillance camera on Monday charging towards the predator after it clambered atop a wall outside her Braford residence. The mother bear was looking for food with her two young cubs and was pawing at Morinico’s four barking canines.
‘Honestly, I did not know it was a bear until right after I pushed it,’ Morinico told Good Morning America on Wednesday of the now-viral footage that shows her beating the mother bear off the wall.
‘I didn’t know I had it in me to be honest. Who does that? Who in their right mind pushes a bear?’ she added.
Morinico’s mom also appeared on the morning program and said she was ‘horrified’ by the footage of her daughter’s brush with the brown bear.
Miraculously, Morinico only ended up with a sprained finger during the encounter and experts say she is lucky to be alive.
‘The is nothing more dangerous than a mother bear with her cubs,’ wildlife expert Ron Magill told Good Morning America.
‘Never run at an animal and never make physical contact. That could be disastrous.’
Hailey Morinico (right) is speaking out after charging at a huge brown bear who appeared in the backyard of her home. She is pictured with her mom (left) and one of her beloved dogs who she was attempting to keep safe
The dog’s owner, identified only as ‘cousin Hailey’ by TikToker @bakedlikepie, does the unthinkable and shoves the wild bear off of the garden wall in an effort to protect her dogs. Commenters noted how both the bear and woman were simply trying to protect their respective fur babies
Video of Morinico’s encounter with the animal went viral after she first shared it on Tiktok.
The teen said she intervened to, ‘protect my kids,’ in a TikTok video she posted after the video of her rescue went viral.
The pet dogs attempt to scare off the bear, but to no avail – until she intervenes.
She said she heard the dogs barking and went to tell them to stop, but when she did so she was hit with a rude surprise.
‘When I go over there to see what they’re barking at I’m like, “ok that’s a funny looking dog.”‘
In a true fight-or-flight moment, the teenager daringly approaches the fully grown adult black bear and pushes it off the wall before immediately gathering her pets and going inside.
‘I go over to the bear and I look it in the eyes, and the first thing I think to do is push it push a bear, push an apex predator man,’ Morinico recounted.
In a true fight-or-flight moment, the teenager daringly approaches the fully grown adult black bear and pushes it off the wall before immediately gathering her pets and going inside. She showed off her injuries on Instagram and TikTok
She said the bear had gone to pick up her smallest, Valentina.
‘She’s the baby and as her slave I have to protect her,’ she remarked, adding that she suffered a sprained finger and scraped knee from the encounter.
‘To be honest I don’t think I pushed her that hard, I just pushed her enough to lose her balance,’ the teen recalled.
The wild scene was captured on surveillance video and posted to TikTok on Tuesday, garnering 53.2k likes and nearly 2.2k comments over an eight-hour period. In this still, the California teen bravely pushes the adult black bear off of her garden wall in a move to protect her pet dogs
Her mother, Citlally Morinico reacted on Facebook, saying her daughter, ‘Just saved our dog with super human strength. For me one of the scariest moments in life.’
‘She sent the video on our family group chat and I just knew people would think it was crazy so I posted it. We did not expect this much of a reaction though!’ her cousin Stephanie Lopez Villalobos, who posted the video of the rescue, told the Daily Mail.
‘She’s a crazy brave 17 year old!’
Several TikTok users noted that the bear was likely protecting her two cubs, who immediately flee the scene upon noticing the dogs.
‘I didn’t see the little cubs in the first video, she was just protecting her babies and so was your cousin,’ a commenter noted.
‘Wow! She’s a fierce mama bear protecting her fur babies,’ Lisa Ramirez wrote of the video, which garnered 53.2k likes and nearly 2.2k comments over an eight-hour period.
Fellow TikTokers noted how fast the woman was able to jump into action to protect her pets, while commending her for bravery and quick-thinking.
‘Can you please post cousin Hailey’s workout routine?’ a commenter named Lexie quipped.
‘You are dog mom of the century,’ another TikToker commented.
‘Kudos to the dog mom, that’s fierce.’
While they are not usually aggressive, black bears can attack humans to protect their cubs or when foraging for food.
Morinico said that in her location bear sightings were common during the summer.