Teen fends off bear in backyard

Teen Fends Off Bear In Backyard
KABC

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    BRADBURY, California (KABC) — Incredible video shows a wild encounter with a bear in a Southern California backyard.

The frightening incident was caught on home surveillance video on Memorial Day.

Hailey Morinico, 17, said she heard the family dogs barking in her backyard and saw a massive mama bear on a wall with her cubs.

Video shows the bear repeatedly swiping at her mother’s service dog while three other pups barked and darted around the backyard.

The teen jumped into action, shoving the bear off of the wall and quickly grabbing one of the dogs before running back into the house.

“Honestly, I did not know it was a bear until right after I pushed it. I didn’t register in my head that it was a bear,” Hailey said.

“I was like ‘It’s an animal and it’s taking my child’ and I pushed the bear.”

Her mother, Citlally Morinico, was shocked when she saw the video.

“I just break down every time I see (it). It’s just horrifying to watch,” she said.

Hailey says she came away from the incident with only a sprained finger on the hand she pushed the bear with and scrapes on her knee.

She and all of the dogs are OK, including her mom’s service animal.

“I didn’t want to know what would happen if the bear hurt her or even took her, so I had to do what I had to do,” Hailey said.

A local wildlife expert says what Hailey did was dangerous and it’s better to stay in the house or prevent the bear from even getting into the backyard.

Christopher Nyerges, a naturalist and author, says it wouldn’t take much for a bear to cause serious injuries. He suggested using a slingshot or some sort of noisemaker to scare the bear away.

“I’m happy that nothing bad happened, but if you live in those communities, you need to be constantly alert that as the development has encroached into their native territory, you’re going to have those encounters more and more.”

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