(KTLA) – A 17-year-old girl in California was captured on video running up to a bear in her backyard and pushing it away to save her dogs.
The surveillance footage shows a bear and two cubs walking along a brick wall just after 2:30 p.m. on Monday in the teen’s backyard in Bradbury, in the San Gabriel Valley. Three of the family’s dogs started barking at them.
At the time, the family was gardening at another end of the yard when they heard the barking. The video shows the bear swat at the dogs a few times before Hailey Morinico runs up.
She said she thought the dogs were barking at other dogs when she first ran toward the wild bear. “I run to see what they’re barking at and it’s not a dog — it’s a bear,” she said.
“I see the bear, it’s grabbing my dog, Valentina, and I have to run over there. She’s a baby,” Hailey said. “And the first thing I think to do is push the bear. And somehow it worked.”
Video shows her shove the bear, causing the animal to fall backward and off the wall.
On Facebook, her mother, Citlally Morinico, called it “one of the scariest moments in life.”
The teen suffered a sprained finger and scraped her knee, but she and her mother are thankful those are her only injuries. Hailey said she ran from the wild bear as quickly as she could.
“By the time that the bear got pushed over, I was out of there with my other dog,” she said.
The family said this isn’t their first time seeing a bear or other wild animals around their home since moving there in February. Citlally Morinico said bears are usually spotted in the neighborhood around two to three times a week.
But this is the first time the family’s gotten so close to the wildlife, they said. Both Hailey and her mother suggested no one do what she did.
“Do not push bears,” Hailey said. “Don’t do what I did. You might not have the same outcome.”