A California teen who attacked a huge brown bear in the backyard of her home says it was a split-second decision she made to save her beloved dogs.
Hailey Morinico (17) was seen on her home security camera on Monday rushing towards the predator after it climbed a wall outside her home in Braford.
The mother bear was foraging for food with her two young cubs before scratching Morinico’s four barking canines.
“Honestly, I didn’t know it was a bear until right after I pushed it,” Morinico told Good Morning America on Wednesday of the now-viral footage of her beating the bear away from her puppies.
“I didn’t know I had it in me to be honest. Who does that? Who in his right mind pushes a bear?’
Hailey Morinico speaks out after attacking a huge brown bear that appeared in the backyard of her house
The dog’s owner, identified only as “cousin Hailey” by TikToker @bakedlikepie, does the unthinkable and pushes the wild bear off the garden wall in an effort to protect her dogs. Comments noted how both the bear and the woman were simply trying to protect their respective fur babies
Morinico’s mother also appeared on the morning program and said she was “shocked” by the images of her daughter brushing the brown bear.
Miraculously, Morinico only ended up with a sprained finger during the encounter, and experts say she’s lucky she’s still alive.
“There’s nothing more dangerous than a mother bear with her cubs,” wildlife expert Ron Magill told Good Morning America.
Never run up to an animal or make physical contact. That could be disastrous.’
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 children” in a… TikTok video she posted after her rescue video went viral.
The dogs try to scare the bear off, but in vain – until she intervenes.
She said she heard the dogs barking and went to tell them to stop, but when she did, she was taken by a rude surprise.
“When I go there to see what they’re barking at, I think, ‘Okay, that’s a funny looking dog.'”
In a true fight-or-flight moment, the teen boldly approaches the full-grown adult black bear and pushes him off the wall before immediately gathering her pets and going inside.
“I go to the bear and I look him in the eye, and the first thing I think to do is push him, push a bear, push an apex predator man,” Morinico told me.
In a true fight-or-flight moment, the teen boldly approaches the full-grown adult black bear and pushes him off the wall before immediately gathering her pets and going inside. She showed her injuries on Instagram and TikTok
She said the bear had gone to pick up her youngest, Valentina.
“She’s the baby and as her slave I have to protect her,” she noted, adding that she suffered a sprained finger and a scraped knee from the encounter.
“To be honest I don’t think I pushed her that hard, I pushed her just enough to lose her balance,” the teen recalls.
The wild scene was captured on surveillance video and posted on 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 her garden wall in a move to protect her dogs
Her mother, Citlally Morinico, responded on Facebook telling her daughter, “Just rescued our dog with super human strength. For me one of the scariest moments in life.’
“She sent the video to our family group chat and I just knew people would think it was crazy so I posted it. However, we did not expect such a response!’ 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 fled the scene when they noticed the dogs.
“I didn’t see the little cubs in the first video, she was just protecting her babies and your cousin too,” one commenter noted.
‘Wow! She’s a fierce mother bear protecting her fur babies,” wrote Lisa Ramirez of the video, which garnered 53.2k likes and nearly 2.2k comments in an eight-hour period.
Fellow TikTokers noted how quickly the woman was able to spring into action to protect her pets, while praising her for her courage and quick thinking.
“Could you please post Cousin Hailey’s workout routine?” a commentator named Lexie joked.
“You’re dog mom of the century,” commented another TikToker.
“Kudos to the dog mama, that’s intense.”
While not usually aggressive, black bears may attack humans to protect their cubs or when foraging for food.
Morinico said bears were often seen at her site during the summer.