A schoolgirl who pushed a black bear from her garden wall claimed she was behaving instinctively to protect her pets.
Hailey Morinico, 17, suffered a sprained finger and a scratched leg, but her dog Valentina received just minor scratches.
They appeared on Good Morning Britain alongside her mother Citlally, who complimented her daughter’s fortitude.
‘After my panic episode, I looked at the video, and it was wonderful, and we were very much in tears,’ she added.
I was relieved that she was okay, and all I wanted to do was hug her. I went to her room maybe 50 times during the night and simply hugged her. ‘I have a knot in my throat.’ Every time I see it, I realize how close she was to de.ath, and it’s terrifying.’ Five of the family’s dogs began barking and ran out to the back yard to face the bear, which was walking down the brick wall with two of its cubs.
Hailey, whose heroic gesture went viral on TikTok, then rushed out, admitting she initially mistook the dog for a ‘funny looking puppy.’
Black bears are not normally vi.ole.nt, and the animal was defending her own cubs, who can be seen running in the video.
‘The first thought that came to me was to push it, and I’m just so happy that everything went out OK,’ she explained.
‘It’s insane, and it all occurred so fast.’ I didn’t realize a bear might be a violent animal that may really da.ma.ge or k.i.ll me.’
Hailey had a brief moment of clarity after shoving the bear and realized she needed to get inside for safety. ‘I simply saw it taking up my dog Valentina and I had to do what I had to do to save her, get her out of [the bear’s] clutches, and all come home safe,’ she added.
‘It was just after I shoved her.’ “Oh my gosh, I just done that,” I thought for a split second.
‘However, I didn’t have time to reflect on what had just transpired.’
‘I grabbed my dogs and hurried back inside, as you can see in the video I’m attempting to push them away from the bear. ‘That’s when I had to explain what I had just done to my mother and the rest of my family.’