Footage of a teenage girl’s unbelievable confrontation with a 150-pound American black bear and its cub after they invaded her backyard and startled her dogs has gone viral.
The incident took place in Bradbury, a city near the San Gabriel Valley in Southern California, and sees 17-year-old Hailey Morinico show no hesitation in confronting and pushing the bear off the yard wall after it had sent her dogs into a frenzy.
A larger black dog narrowly avoids being swiped by the bear, whose cub has already run in the opposite direction. The bear then attempts to grab one of the smaller dogs before Morinico appears from nowhere and literally pushes the bear off the wall before rescuing the dogs and returning indoors.
The jaw-dropping moment was captured on the house CCTV system and was later uploaded to TikTok by Morinico’s cousin who wrote: “My cousin Hailey yeeted a bear off her fence today and saved her dogs. How was your Memorial Day?!”
The clip has already been viewed millions of times across several social media platforms and people are understandably lost for words, in awe of Morinico’s bravery as well as the effectiveness of her tackle on the bear.
This is insane. Zero hesitation. https://t.co/3HTFuVjAbj
Speaking to NBC Los Angeles, Morinico said: “I was like ‘Oh my God, there’s a bear, and it is taking my dog. It is lifting her up off the ground. The dog that the bear grabbed, she’s the baby, I have to protect the baby.”
In a follow-up TikTok, Morinico explained a little more about what happened. After hearing the commotion she walked onto the scene to see the bear and the dogs going wild and decided to act. “So I go over and look the bear in the eyes, and the first thing I think to do is push it. Push a bear, push an apex predator. And to be honest, I don’t think I pushed her that hard, just enough to make her lose her balance, so she drops my dog and I run out of there!”
However, Rebecca Barboza, a wildlife biologist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, told NBC News that the incident was probably started by the dogs who were attempting to defend their territory. Barboza said: “The bear was protecting her cubs, she was reacting to protect her cubs and the dogs of course were reacting to protect their territory.”
As the dogs appear to have started the conflict, no action will be taken against the bear. Despite Morinico’s heroics, people are strongly advised against confronting bears and pets should be kept inside in areas where bears roam.