A Southern Californian teenager who fended off a bear in her backyard on Memorial Day said in an interview that she was not even aware that it was a bear when she was facing it.
The video of Hailey Morinico, 17, pushing away the bear to save her family dogs has gone viral on social media.
A mama bear appeared wandering on the top of wall in Morinico’s backyard together with its two cubs.
Her dogs noticed and reacted fiercely by barking loudly at the bears. One of the small dogs got so close to the bear from underneath that the dog was repeatedly swiped at by the bear’s claws.
It was when Morinico stormed out of her house, ran directly towards the bear, and pushed it off the wall—with her bare hands. She did not forget to grab her small dog with her when she ran back to the house.
“Honestly, I did not know it was a bear until right after I pushed it. It didn’t register in my head that it was a bear,” Morinico told ABC7.
“I was like, ‘It’s an animal, and it’s taking my child.’ I pushed the bear, and then I was like. ‘Oh my God, I just pushed a bear!’ Who in their right mind pushes a bear?” she said.
But Morinico did freak her mother out.
“My child just saved our dog with super human strength,” Morinico’s mother, Citlally Morinico, share her thoughts on Facebook. “For me one of the scariest moments of my life.”
In another interview with NBC’s “Today,” Morinico said she felt compelled to act immediately before something bad happened.
“It is lifting her off the ground, and if I don’t do something about it, who knows what might happen to her,” she spoke of the pet.
“She’s the baby in the family, we go everywhere with her, (I) couldn’t bear to lose her or have anything happen to her,” Morinico said.