"When I go over there to see what they're barking at, I'm like, 'That's a funny-looking dog,'" Southern California teenager Hailey Morinico recalled of the bear she fought off

By Glenn Garner
June 01, 2021 03:52 PM
bear on wall
Credit: Getty

A Southern California teenager has squared off against a mama bear and lived to tell the tale.

Hailey Morinico, 17, recently heard her family's dogs barking outside and went to see what was causing the commotion. Morinico found a mama bear and her cubs on the brick wall surrounding her backyard, according to ABC 7. After that, adrenaline took over.

In the surveillance video of the Memorial Day incident, the mama bear is shown swiping at a dog. Morinico says this is her mother's service dog, TJ. The clip then shows the teenager springing into action, running toward the bear and pushing the animal off the wall, before grabbing another dog named Wednesday and retreating inside.

Morinico's cousin posted a video of the teen's heroic act Monday to TikTok, and it has since been viewed more than 44 million times. "My cousin Hailey yeeted a bear off her fence today and saved her dogs," her cousin Brenda (@bakedlikepie) wrote in the caption. "How was your Memorial Day?! (WTF?!)"

The brave teenager recorded a follow-up video, in which she explains what happened.

"I'm the person who fought off a bear to protect my kids," Morinico says in the clip. "To preface this, I live in the mountains, so this is actually really normal. And it's summer, so they always come now."

"They started barking, our dogs, and I thought they were just barking at a dog because they always bark at dogs or squirrels or whatever, 'cause they're dumb," she adds. "But I go to tell them to stop, and when I go over there to see what they're barking at, I'm like, 'That's a funny-looking dog.'"

She says that by the time she got outside, the bear was "literally picking up" one of her family's smaller dogs. "Her name is Valentina. She is the baby," Morinico explains. "And as her slave, I have to protect her."

"So, I go over to the bear, and I look it in the eyes," she says. "And the first thing I think to do is push it, push an apex predator, man. To be honest, I don't think I pushed her that hard. I just pushed her enough to make her lose her balance. So, she drops my dog, and I run out of there."

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Morinico notes that she sprained her finger and "screwed my knee" in the confrontation. "

"But we're all okay," she adds.