BRADBURY, Calif. (CBSLA) — This Memorial Day will be hard to forget for one teenager who fought off a bear to protect her dogs outside a Southern California home.

Video of the encounter was posted by the girl’s cousin, Citlally Morinico, to Instagram.

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The video starts with a mother bear and two cubs casually walking from under a tree along the top of a block wall, before several dogs run up barking. A large black dog fearlessly confronts the mother bear, who swats back three times as her cubs scramble away. Three smaller dogs continue to bark at the bear, and one nearly gets caught by one of the bear’s paws.

That’s when the girl runs up and pushes the bear. She falls to her knees from the effort but also causes the bear to lose its balance from the top of the wall.

“In that moment, I don’t have much time to think,” said Haily Morinico, 17, who described her experience to CBSLA Tuesday. “I run over to the bear and the first thing I think to do is to push the bear over, and it will release my dog. And somehow it works!”
California only has black bears, which wildlife experts say are not inherently aggressive towards humans or their pets. Experts say this bear was only trying to protect her cubs.

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Reply to @cynthiaromeroo #greenscreen STORY TIME ABOUT THE BEAR if u have questions I’ll answer in the comments 🙂

♬ original sound – secks haver 😎 –

Morinico said she did not realize how lucky she was to make it out of the ordeal unscathed until she watched the security video back.

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Bears often visit Bradbury, which is nestled in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains.