Mom Hailed as a Hero After Saving Toddler From a Bear: ‘I Was Cussing Like a Sailor’

by Jon D. B.

Watch as home security footage captures this mom running directly towards her toddler, who is running directly towards a black bear. And yes, a few choice words are involved. Rightfully so!

“Oh sh**!” Mom shouts. How else should a parent react to their toddler screaming “that’s a bear!” excitedly as they run directly for the wild predator? That’s exactly what happens in this viral footage, posted to TikTok by Washington resident Samantha Martin.

As the brave mom describes, her toddler, Juniper, had quite literally just finished reading an animal identification book and decided that bears are her favorite animal. So when she spotted one in her own backyard, it was too good to be true – and she sprinted for the “furry friend.”

“[The bear] started running across the fence and she chased it,” Martin tells Fox 13 News. “I just panicked. I didn’t really have a lot of thoughts in the moment so much as get the child and get back inside.”


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“I was scared and started cussing like a sailor,” Martin continues. As she should’ve! We need more Wildlife Warriors in the world, and as a fellow bear-lover I’ll never fault tiny Juniper for adoring them also. But as mom Samantha knows, toddlers and adults alike must be taught crucial bear safety in bear country.

Samantha wasn’t afraid of this “little baby bear,” she says, which looks to be a juvenile black bear. But her familiarity with the species meant she feared the mother bear was most likely very close by.

“I didn’t know where the mom was and didn’t know how she’d feel about two humans running towards her baby,” she adds.

Mom Cites Crucial Bear Knowledge After Saving Toddler From Potential Bear Encounter

Although black bear mothers will sometimes abandon their cubs at the sight of danger, the stereotype of a “mamma bear” is very much rooted in reality. Brown bears are the most fiercely protective of their young. But black bears, too, will defend their cubs if they feel threatened.

Just like us humans, some American black bears are more protective than others. And you never know which bear you’re going to get. Regardless, black bears are large predators. They can and will source and attack humans as food.

As such, it’s imperative to always give black bears their space. Never approach a black bear or any wild animal.

If you live in or visit bear country, head to our National Parks Journal: How to Be BearWise with Great Smoky Mountains’ Lead Wildlife Biologist next. Within, GRSM’s Bill Stiver, a black bear expert if there ever was one, offers crucial safety information for humans living with these remarkable animals.