Uninvited guests at a birthday party can be annoying—but in case of 15-year-old Santiago and his mother Silvia Macías, it was downright dangerous.
In the middle of a planned taco lunch in Chipinque Park outside of Monterrey in Mexico, a black bear came up to the table to join in on Santiago's birthday lunch.
Enacting the plan they had made before coming to the park, and knowing that when you encounter a black bear to stay still and quiet, Silvia grabbed Santiago and shielded his eyes.
Santiago, who has Down Syndrome and is very scared of animals, needed to remain quiet, so his mother shielded his view of the bear and kept her eyes down, trying to not challenge the bear.
"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."
When they were rehearsing the plan that they unfortunately had to use, she made it into a game for Santiago.
“We are going to play a game where we cover Santiago’s eyes and we are going to act like statues.”
Despite the pair remaining motionless, "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 was scared during the close encounter, Santiago replied:
"Yes, a lot."
Mexican mother bravely shields son as bear leaps on picnic table, devours tacos, enchiladasyoutu.be
People praised the mother's bravery and forethought to keep her son quiet while the bear ate their food.
Some people just couldn't resist bear puns.
Others mourned the loss of the food.
However, many people wondered: who was behind the camera in all of this?
It turns out a family friend named Angela filmed the scene and knew to never run away from a black bear.
After noticing that the bear had left a plate of enchiladas untouched, she showed it to the bear before throwing the food far away from the table.
The bear followed the food, and Angela stood in front of the bear while it was distracted so that Santiago and his mom could escape.
After the bear left, the family was able to get some replacement birthday tacos for Santiago.
As for Macías, she doesn't really consider herself a hero, noting:
"I just think I’m a mother who protected her cub."
Spoken like a true mama bear.