BRADBURY (CBSLA) — This Memorial Day will be hard to forget for one teenager who fought off a bear to protect her dogs in Bradbury.
The video starts with a mother bear and two cubs casually walking from under a tree along the top of a block wall, before several dogs run up barking. A large black dog fearlessly confronts the mother bear, who swats back three times as her cubs scramble away. Three smaller dogs continue to bark at the bear, and one nearly gets caught by one of the bear's paws.
That's when the 17-year-old Hailey Morinico runs up and pushes the bear. She falls to her knees from the effort, but also causes the bear to lose its balance from the top of the wall.
The girl then picks up one of the dogs, urges the others away from the area, and runs back into her house. The bear disappears back under the tree.
On TikTok, Hailey recounted her experience fighting off the bear and said she sprained her finger and her knee in the confrontation. In the video, she said she thought her dogs were actually barking at another dog, and had gone to tell them to stop.
"And I go over there to see what they're barking at, and I'm like, that's a funny looking dog," she says with a chuckle.
When she saw the bear picking up her dog Valentina, she sprang into action.
"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, man," she said. "And to be honest, I don't think I, like, pushed her that hard, I just pushed her enough to make her lose her balance."
Bears often visit Bradbury, which is nestled in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains on the edge of the Angeles National Forest. In an interview with CBSLA's Kristine Lazar, even though she was able to save her dogs, Hailey says people should not do what she did.
"Do not push bears, do not get close to bears. You do not want to get unlucky. I just happened to come out unscathed," she said.
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