- Hailey Morinico, 17, fought off a giant bear that appeared in the backyard of her home
- Surveillance video of the encounter went viral after it was shared on TikTok earlier this week
- In an interview on Good Morning America on Wednesday, Morinico admitted she was ‘not in her right mind’ to charge at the bear
- She said she only did so in order to protect her four dogs who were being eyed off by the hungry predator
- The smallest dog, Valentina, serves as Morinico’s mom’s emotional support animal; the teen said her family would be devastated if the dog was killed
- Morinico sustained a sprained finger after beating the bear away from her pooches; animal experts say the encounter could have ended in death
Hailey Morinico, 17, was seen on her home surveillance camera Monday charging towards the predator after it clambered atop a wall outside her Bradbury residence.
The mother bear was with her two young cubs looking for food before she began pawing at Morinico’s four barking canines – Wednesday, Sparkles, Valentina and TJ.
‘Honestly, I did not know it was a bear until right after I pushed it,’ Morinico told Good Morning America on Wednesday of the now-viral footage that shows her beating the bear away from her pooches.
‘I didn’t know I had it in me to be honest. Who does that? Who in their right mind pushes a bear?’
Hailey Morinico, 17, is speaking out after charging at a huge brown bear who appeared in the backyard of her home
Morinico was seen on her home surveillance camera Monday charging towards the predator after it clambered atop a wall outside her Bradbury residence.
Morinico’s mom, Citlally, also appeared on the morning program and said she was ‘horrified’ by the footage of her daughter’s brush with the brown bear.
Miraculously, Morinico only ended up with a sprained finger and grazed knee as a result of the encounter, and experts say she is lucky to be alive.
A full surveillance clip that has since emerged showed the mother bear and her two cubs trying to clamber across the Morinicos’ wall when the family’s dogs began barking at them. That sent the cubs scattering – and the mama bear into defensive mode.
‘The is nothing more dangerous than a mother bear with her cubs,’ wildlife expert Ron Magill told Good Morning America.
‘Never run at an animal and never make physical contact. That could be disastrous.’
Morinico also appeared on CNN, accompanied by her pet pooch, Valentina, whom the hungry bear had her eyes on.
‘The bear, she was picking up this dog, Valentina, and she was literally off of the ground, and I had to do what I had to do. So I knelt down and I had about two seconds to think, and the first thing that popped into my head was to push the bear off the ledge,’ the teen told host John Berman and Breanna Keilar.
‘This dog Valentina, she was in danger really, and she’s so important to the family – she’s my mother’s emotional support animal,’ she further explained.
‘I couldn’t bear to let anything happen to her because I know the pain would have been way too much for my mom to handle, and really I think I did this for her.’
And speaking on Today, Morinico said: ‘I was like, oh, my gosh, there is a bear, and it is taking my dog. It is lifting her off the ground. If I don’t do something about it, who knows what might happen to her.’
Morinico’s mom also chimed in with how badly shaken the close encounter had left the family, saying: ‘I couldn’t fall asleep, thinking of the horrible possibilities that could have happened. Thankfully, nothing did.’
Morinico’s small dogs Wednesday and Valentina were in the backyard barking at the bear and her two cubs
Dogs Sparkles and TJ were also in the backyard during their owners’ confrontation with the bear
Morinico’s mom (left) also appeared on the morning program and said she was ‘horrified’ by the footage of her daughter’s brush with the bear
Morinico also appeared on CNN, accompanied by one of her pooch Valentina, who she helped save from the clutches of the hungry mother bear
Animal instinct! Morinico didn’t think twice about protecting her four beloved dogs
Video of Morinico’s encounter with the animal went viral after she first shared it on TikTok on Tuesday.
She told her followers on the social media site that she initially heard her dogs barking and went to tell them to stop.
‘When I go over there to see what they’re barking at I’m like, “ok that’s a funny looking dog,”‘ she recounted.
The teen then realized she was standing face-to-face with a giant bear, who had its eyes on her smallest pooch, Valentina.
‘She’s the baby and as her slave I have to protect her,’ Morinico remarked.
The teen’s instincts kicked in and she charged at the animal without a second thought.
‘I go over to the bear I look at it in the eyes and the first thing I think to do is push it,’ she explained.
‘Push a bear, push an apex predator, man. And to be honest I don’t think I pushed her that hard, I just pushed her enough to make her lose her balance. So she drops my dog and I run out of there.’
Brush with a bear – and a brush with fame! Morinico made several appearances on morning TV on Wednesday after the world watch her dramatic encounter with the gigantic bear
In a true fight-or-flight moment, the teenager daringly approaches the fully grown adult black bear and pushes it off the wall before immediately gathering her pets and going inside. She showed off her injuries on Instagram and TikTok