3:35 PM PDT, June 2, 2021
People are still talking about the California teen who was captured in dramatic surveillance video shoving a bear that got too close to her dog. And it’s sparking a great debate: should she have stayed away or stepped in to save her pets?
Hailey Morinico,17, sprang into action when she saw her four pups in trouble in the backyard at her Pasadena home. Inside Edition spoke to Hailey as she recovered from the close encounter. We brought the teen and wildlife expert Jeff Corwin together via FaceTime.
“You found that inner Hailey hulk to get through the situation,” Corwin said.
Corwin says shoving the bear was not the safest thing to do. He says the bear was only protecting its cubs — something Hailey can understand, since she was protecting her dogs.
“I think it’s incredible how you reacted. I truly believe you sensed the creatures you love were in danger,” Corwin said.
Her encounter comes as wildlife officials warn of a rise in bear activity across the country. There was another close call over the weekend in Yellowstone National Park when a grizzly charged at a park ranger. The ranger fired off rubber bullets to scare the bear away.
Experts recommend playing dead if you are ever attacked by a bear. They say to make sure to stay in place, because bears are known to wait around to make sure their victims don’t get up.