A security camera has captured a devoted dog mom’s wild standoff with a protective mom bear in the backyard of a Southern California home.
The video shows a bear and two cubs walking atop a boulder wall behind Bradbury’s house in the San Gabriel Valley. The family’s four barking dogs soon charge the bears and chaos ensues.
The two cubs backed up behind a tree, but the mother bear appeared to take a hit on one of the smaller dogs.
Fearing for the safety of her dogs, a teenage girl joined the fray after hearing the frantic barking. Hailey Morinico can be seen running towards the bear and scrambling into a split second decision.
The bear fell back from the wall, pushing its head back for one last look before running away.
Hailey can be seen running in the opposite direction and carrying a dog under her arm like a soccer ball.
No serious injuries were reported.
Human bear encounters are rare in California, but bears often visit communities in the foothills and other areas bordering nature in search of food – especially on garbage day. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has a list of tips and general guidelines to follow regarding bear encounters.
Experts advise against facing a bear.
Black bears, recognized by their small, narrow heads and tiny ears, have coats that vary in color from beige to brown to black. Females reach around 200 pounds and males can weigh 350 pounds, with some giants weighing over 600 pounds.
California’s black bear population has grown over the past two decades from around 10,000 to 15,000 in the early 1980s to between 25,000 and 30,000 – and that’s a conservative estimate, according to the State Department of fishing and wildlife. They are good climbers who can easily climb a tree – or in the case, a boulder wall.
About half of the state’s bear population is found in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the northern and western regions. It is estimated that only 10% of the black bear population resides in west-central and southwestern California.
Black bears like to feed on plants, insects, nuts, berries, and anything they consider edible – like the contents of garbage cans. If food is scarce in their natural habitat, bears are likely to feed elsewhere, leading them to neighborhoods in the Southern California foothills.
Despite being on the state flag, the dreaded grizzly bear is no longer found in the wilderness of California. The last grizzly bear seen in California was shot in the early 1920s.