California teen shoves bear to protect dogs in viral video
Hailey Morinico said she was lucky to escape in one piece from the encounter with a black bear in Bradbury, northeast of Los Angeles, which was captured on home video surveillance.
The footage has featured on US television networks and received almost 10 million "likes" on TikTok social media platform.
When she spotted the altercation, Morinico ran "to see what they're barking at and it's not a dog -- it's a bear," she told local television station KTLA.
"The first thing I think to do is push the bear. And somehow it worked," said the 17-year-old.
Off-balance, the bear fell off the low wall before retreating with her cubs.
Morinico's panicked parents can be heard shouting in the background of the video, with her mother Citlally writing on Facebook that it was "one of the scariest moments in life."
A wildlife expert estimated that the black bear weighed about 150 pounds (nearly 70 kilos) and the cubs were only a few months old.
Morinico walked away from the encounter with only a sprained finger, but on reflection told viewers that she would not recommend they follow her example.
"Do not push bears," Morinico said. "Don't do what I did, you might not have the same outcome."