A Southern California teenager is seen on video footage pushing off a bear sitting on a wall after the large animal encountered the girl’s dogs at his family’s residence during the weekend.
Home surveillance video cameras captured the incident in the foothills in the San Gabriel Valley, found east of Los Angeles. The teenager, Hailey Morinico, said she thought her dogs were barking at other dogs or a squirrel.
Confronting a Black Bear
However, she later discovered they were growling at a bear who was with two cubs. “I was like ‘Oh my God, there’s a bear, and it is taking my dog. It is lifting her up off the ground,’” Hailey said.
Video footage of the incident showed the bear walking on the wall just outside of a residence in Bradbury.
When the dogs spot the large animal, they immediately approach it and started barking, trying to scare it away. The encounter causes the cubs to flee while the larger bear swipes its claws at the dogs and pick one up as the teenager approaches.
Hailey then pushes the bear off the wall, causing it to fall to the other side. “The dog that the bear grabbed, she’s the baby. I have to protect the baby,” she said.
Wildlife Biologist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Rebecca Barboza, said the large animal was an American black bear. From the footage, she said the one the teenager encountered was most likely an adult and weighed about 150 pounds.
Barboza said the bears were frequently seen in communities located near their natural habitats such as Bradbury. They are also commonly observed in urban areas the animals use as their “home range.”
Based on the video, Barboza said it appeared that the dogs were the ones who instigated the encounter, saying they will not be taking action against the large animal. “The bear was protecting her cubs, she was reacting to protect her cubs and the dogs of course were reacting to protect their territory,” she said, NBC News reported.
The agency warned residents to avoid bears who break inside their homes or if the animal is in the yard, to keep their distance and not approach the creature. Barboza said people should never approach a bear especially when it has cubs.