BRADBURY, Calif. — A surveillance camera captured the incredible moment a teenage girl shoved a bear that was swatting at her family’s dogs in their backyard on Memorial Day.
Hailey Morinico, 17, told KABC that she spotted the mother bear with her two cubs after she heard her dogs barking in her backyard in Bradbury, California.
Morinico told KTLA that she originally thought that her pets were barking at other dogs, so she was shocked to see that it was a bear.
Video shared by the teen’s family on social media shows the bears enter the backyard through a tree and walk along the family’s brick wall.
When the family’s four dogs run out, the cubs are seen running away, but the mother bear sticks around and swats at the dogs a few times before Morinico runs up and pushes the animal off the wall.
Morinico is then seen corralling her dogs inside as the bear scurries away.
Miraculously, nobody was seriously injured in the encounter. Morinico told KTLA that she suffered a sprained finger and a scraped knee, but she and all her dogs are alright.
The teen’s mother, Citally Morinico, called the incident one of the scariest moments in her life in a Facebook post.
Although the teen is being celebrated for saving her dogs, she told KTLA that she doesn’t want others to do what she did, because they might not have the same outcome.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has similar advice. If a bear breaks into your home or yard, officials say not to confront it. If it doesn’t leave, they say to get to a safe place and call 911.
“If you encounter a bear in your yard, chances are it will move on if there is nothing for the bear to forage. If there is enough distance between you and the bear, you can encourage the bear to leave by using noisemakers or blowing a whistle,” wrote officials.