When a California teenager saw a wild bear swiping at her family dogs in the backyard she didn’t hesitate, charging at the animal in a dramatic bid to protect her pets.
The rescue was captured on video and shared online, where her actions have won her praise as “dog mom of the century”.
The video shows a mother bear and her cubs walking across a garden wall at the family home in Bradford, California, as the dogs, try and scare them off.
As the camera rolls, the bear lashes out at the dogs, who yelp in distress.
Enter our hero.
Hailey Morinico, 17, charges at the animal and shoves it off the wall before attempting to gather up the dogs, just as it appears to grab the smallest one.
When Morinico’s back is turned as she carries one of the dogs is in her arms, the bear climbs the wall behind her, before thinking better of it and retreating from the scene.
“My cousin Hailey yeeted a bear off her fence today and saved her dogs. How’s your Memorial Day?” her cousin Stephanie Villalobos wrote on TikTok.
Villalobos later told the Daily Mail that her cousin was a “crazy brave 17-year-old”.
Morinico only sprained her finger and the dogs were unharmed.
She later posted an update to TikTok herself, revealing that the dogs often bark at squirrels so she initially didn’t think anything of it.
She said that when she went to see what was causing the trouble she thought: “That’s a funny-looking dog”.
She rushed to intervene as the bear was targeting the smallest dog, Valentina, which she described as her “baby”.
“As her slave I have to protect her,” Morinico said. “So I go over to the bear, I look it in the eyes and the first thing I think to do is push it. Push a bear, push an apex predator.”
Many on TikTok noted that the bear was just protecting her cubs.
“I didn’t see the little cubs in the first video, she was just protecting her babies and so was your cousin,” one person wrote.
Others praised Morinico ‘s bravery, with one dubbing her “dog mom of the century”.
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