A brave teen fended off a protective mama bear who swatted at her family’s dogs in a California backyard, viral video shows.
Hailey Morinico, 17, risked life and limb by confronting the brazen bruin as it perched with its cubs on top of a dividing wall in the town of Bradbury, near the Angeles National Forest, a video clip posted Monday on Facebook shows.
The family’s four dogs initially darted toward the bear before Morinico dashed outside and shoved the animal off the wall just seconds after it swatted repeatedly at one pooch. The teen then grabbed one of the dogs and ran off to safety, the clip shows.
“My child [Hailey] just saved our dog with super human strength,” Morinico’s mother, Citlally Morinico, wrote on Facebook. “For me one of the scariest moments of my life.”
Hailey said in a TikTok video she “fought off” the bear to “protect my kids” during the encounter after hearing the dogs start barking while outside. She initially suspected another dog or a squirrel got their pets riled up.
“And when I go over there to see what they’re barking at I’m, like, that’s a funny looking dog,” Hailey recalled. “And by the time I get there, the bear is literally like taking up one of my dogs.”
The bear also swatted at the smallest dog in the bunch, Valentina, the teen said.
“She is the baby and as her slave, I have to protect her,” Hailey recalled, saying she instantly decided to shove the bear — even looking directly into its eyes as she approached.
“Push a bear, push an apex predator, man,” Hailey said, adding that the female bear, which appeared to be uninjured by the shove, didn’t put up much a fight and retreated quickly.
“And to be honest, I don’t think I like pushed her that hard,” Hailey continued. “I just pushed her enough to lose her balance.”
Hailey said the encounter was not an unusual occurrence as the warmer weather approaches. The teen sprained her finger and knee during the incident but was otherwise OK, she said. The family’s dogs were unharmed.
The viral footage had been viewed more than 40 million times as of Tuesday across all social media platforms, KCPQ reported.
Hailey’s cousin, meanwhile, boasted on Instagram that her relative stood her ground in front of a protective female bear — and came away victorious.
“My cousin Hailey just fought a f–king mama bear and won!” her cousin wrote. “How’s your Memorial Day weekend?!”