Grizzly bear at the Palm Beach Zoo.
Source: Getty Images

This Brave Teen Pushes a Bear to Protect Her Pup in Viral TikTok

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Jun. 2 2021, Published 6:07 p.m. ET

One of the most unexpected viral moments of 2021 so far has been a shocking video of a young woman pushing a bear off a wall in her backyard after it threatened her dogs' safety. The viral moment has turned into a meme, and the girl in the video has since spoken out. She posted a follow-up TikTok about what she was feeling watching her dogs in peril and how it empowered her to confront the mother bear. Read on to learn everything we know about Hailey Morinico and her experience.

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Grizzly bear at the Palm Beach Zoo.
Source: Getty Images

Teen Hailey Morinico spoke out about what it felt like to push a bear over a wall.

In an interview with Today, 17-year-old Hailey Morinico, who is responsible for the viral TikTok, described what she was feeling when she confronted the bear. "I was like, 'Oh my God, there is a bear, and it is taking my dog. It is lifting her off the ground, and if I don't do something about it, who knows what might happen to her."

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Source: TikTok

The video, which was taken via a security camera on Hailey's property in Bradbury, Calif., shows a mother bear and three cubs climbing on a wall in her backyard. When Hailey's four dogs run out to confront the bear, it takes a swipe at her beloved pets while remaining on the fence. This is where Hailey heroically flies in to rescue the pooch, pushing the bear off the wall, picking up the dog, and running back inside.

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Brown bear and cub at Everland Amusement Park in South Korea.
Source: Getty Images

Hailey's mother, Citlally Morinico, also posted the viral video on Facebook, captioning it, "My child ... just saved our dog with superhuman strength. For me one of the scariest moments in life." But for Hailey, confronting an animal three times her size seemed like an easy choice at the time. 

"[Valentina is] the baby in the family we go everywhere with her, [I] couldn't bear to lose her or have anything happen to her," Hailey said.

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Source: TikTok

Hailey also posted a follow-up TikTok describing the story in detail to her page and said she would answer any questions viewers had in the comments. She explained, "I thought my dogs were barking at a dog, because they always bark at other dogs or like, squirrels and whatever... but I go and tell them to stop, you know, and when I go over there to see what they're barking at, I'm like that's a funny-looking dog."

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Kodiak bear at the Wuppertal Zoo.
Source: Getty Images

Hailey also notes that she didn't think she pushed the bear that hard, just hard enough to make the bear let go of her dog and lose its balance. She then grabbed her other dog and sprained her finger in the process. Hailey's finger splint is visible in her follow-up video, but she said that outside of her sprained finger and scraped knee, everyone is OK after the incident.

It sounds like despite the very startling event, thanks to Hailey's quick thinking, her dogs are safe. It's important to note that while pushing a bear worked here, it's probably not advisable to push bears at any other time, especially mothers trying to protect their cubs!

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