In a remarkable display of maternal courage, a Mexican mother valiantly shielded her son from a perilous encounter with a bear. This heart-stopping incident occurred as Silvia Macías, hailing from Mexico City, had embarked on a journey to Chipinque Park, located on the outskirts of the northern city of Monterrey, to celebrate her son Santiago’s 15th birthday. Santiago, who has Down syndrome, was the guest of honor on this special occasion.
The tranquil picnic setting soon transformed into a scene of unexpected danger when a bear unexpectedly emerged and laid claim to the feast intended for Santiago’s birthday dinner. The ravenous bear wasted no time in devouring the spread, which included french fries, enchiladas, tacos, and salsa. Angela Chapa, a friend accompanying the Macías family, managed to capture this heart-pounding encounter on video.
In the midst of this terrifying situation, Silvia Macías demonstrated extraordinary composure. Seated mere inches away from the bear, she steadfastly held Santiago close, shielding his eyes with her hand. Macías was careful to avert her gaze, as any eye contact with the bear could have provoked it. Her foremost concern was preventing Santiago, who harbored a profound fear of animals, from becoming frightened or agitated.
Reflecting on the harrowing encounter, Macías remarked, “The worst thing was that Santiago might get scared… Santiago is very afraid of animals, a cat or a dog, any animal scares him a lot. That’s why I covered his eyes, because I didn’t want him to see it and scream or run. I was afraid that if he got scared or screamed or scared the bear, that the bear would react.”
Remarkably, Macías and Chapa had previously discussed the possibility of encountering a bear in the park, although such occurrences were infrequent during midday. They had devised a plan to remain still and cover Santiago’s eyes, mimicking statues in an attempt to avoid provoking the bear.
Staying true to their rehearsed strategy, Santiago remained motionless, even as the bear’s presence loomed ominously nearby. Santiago recalled, “the bear was very close to us, we heard him as he growled, as he ate, you could smell the bear. It was really very, very close.”
When asked if he had been scared, Santiago, who attends middle school in Mexico City, affirmed that he was indeed very frightened.
Angela Chapa, their resourceful friend who had documented the incident, demonstrated remarkable presence of mind. She was well-versed in the proper protocol for encounters with black bears, knowing that fleeing was not an option. Spotting an uneaten plate of enchiladas, she offered it to the bear, then tossed it away to divert the animal’s attention. As anticipated, the bear followed the food, allowing Angela to position herself between the bear and the Macías family, ensuring their safe retreat.
Eventually, the bear withdrew, and the Macías family emerged unharmed. Santiago’s birthday tacos were replaced, and the day concluded on a positive note.
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Despite her incredible bravery, Silvia Macías remained humble about her actions. “I just think I’m a mother who protected her cub,” she modestly stated.