If you woke up this morning questioning why both Mystikal and “help the bear” were trending heavily on the timeline, the answer—even for those well-versed in the freestyle history of the New Orleans artist—may be a surprising one.
Security footage was shared to TikTok and Instagram on Monday showing a brown bear, as well as several cubs, walking along a property fence. Eventually, several dogs are seen running up to the bear, at which point a brief scuffle ensues. Incredibly, a woman is then seen swiftly approaching the bear and pushing it away from the pets.
“My cousin Hailey just fought a fucking mama bear and won!” Instagram user @bakedlikepie wrote when sharing the clip. “How’s your Memorial Day weekend?”
In a subsequent TikTok clip from @bakedlikepie, Hailey reflected on the incident, saying she “fought off a bear to protect my kids.” As Hailey explained, she lives in the mountains, “so this is actually really normal.” According to Hailey, she first heard her dogs barking, which isn’t an uncommon occurrence.
“I go to tell them to stop and when I go over there to see what they’re barking at I’m like, that’s a funny-looking dog,” she said.
The video is said to have been captured in California using a Vivint security system. According to the original uploader, per Snopes, both Hailey and the dogs “are okay” following the encounter.
Quickly, the clip’s virality grew to include repeated references to a years-old Mystikal freestyle in which the “Shake Ya Ass” artist imagined a chance encounter with a grizzly bear. “If you ever see me fightin’ in the forest with a grizzly bear, help the bear!” Mystikal rapped during the oft-quoted freestyle on DJ Green Lantern’s Invasion Radio show:
To be clear, however, the last known California grizzly bear was shot to death in 1922 in Tulare County.
At any rate, here’s a sampling of how the bear discourse was shaping up as of Tuesday morning: