Over the weekend, a southern California woman shoved a mother bear and two cubs off the brick wall surrounding her home in order to protect her dogs from being attacked in a viral video encounter
Security footage of the incident shows the mother bear and her cubs climbing along the top of a wall behind a house in Bradbury, in the San Gabriel Valley. The woman’s four dogs, including what appear to be multiple miniature breeds, ran toward the intruders and begin barking.
As the cubs hide behind a tree, the adult female bear swipes at the pups several times before Hailey Morinico rushed out and shoved the mother bear off the wall in an effort to protect her pets.
Immediately after pushing the bear, Morinico could be seen frantically directing her dogs away from the scene before grabbing the final dog and running out of the frame.
No serious injuries were reported.
According to Fox News, the video was originally posted to TikTok by user Bakedlikepie with the caption, “My cousin Hailey yeeted a bear off her fence today and saved her dogs. How was your Memorial Day?! (WTF?!) ##ohno ##badass ##brave ##fight ##bear”
As of Tuesday, the video has received more than 7.4 million reactions on the platform, and has amassed nearly 52 million views.
NBC 4 reported that experts do not recommend confronting bears. While bear encounters in California are rare, the animals do search for food in foothill communities.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife lists a number of ways to bear-proof a home or campsite, and also provides tips for hiking in “bear country.”
“Injurious black bear encounters and attacks are extremely rare in California, but they have occurred,” the department’s website states. “There is no single safety strategy applicable to every encounter, and bear behavior is not always predictable. However, basic understanding of bear behavior will help keep people safe and bears out of trouble.”
If a bear breaks into a home, the department advises that people “do not confront the bear,” but rather “move away to a safe place.”
“Most bears will quickly look for an escape route. Move away to a safe place. Do not block exit points. If the bear does not leave, get to a safe place and call 911,” the department says.
“Female black bears will often send cubs up a tree and leave the area in response to a perceived threat,” the website also notes. “Do not remain in the area – when you leave, she will come back for her cubs.”