Silvia Macías was celebrating her 15-year-old son, Santiago's, birthday in Chipinque Park on the outskirts of Monterrey in Mexico when a bear jumped up on their picnic table, the Associated Press reported.
The bear then devoured the french fries, enchiladas, and tacos that Macías had brought for the celebration. Macías bravely but stoically pulled Santiago, who has Down syndrome, into her arms. She shielded his eyes with his hands, and stood still while looking down as the bear munched on their food, the AP reported.
“The worst thing was that Santiago might get scared," Macías told the AP. “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,” she said.
Santiago told the AP he was very scared. The bear was very close and the two heard it growl, but for their safety they remained stoic.
Macías was prepared for bear encounter
In that moment, Macías told the AP, she wasn't being a hero, just "a mother who protected her cub."
Macías and Angela Chapa, a friend who recorded the interaction and lives in Monterrey said they knew there was a chance they could encounter a bear during their picnic. They had rehearsed what to do if the came across one.
The National Parks Services advises anyone who encounters a bear to remain calm, avoid sudden and loud noises, not to run or climb trees, and to not allow it access to your food.
While the bear gulfed down almost everything Macías brought for the party, Chapa noticed that it hadn't touched the enchiladas, so she picked it up, made sure the bear saw it and tossed it away from the group. Sure enough, the bear followed the food, and Chapa was able to stand in front of the bear, giving Macías and her son a chance to slowly back away, AP reported.
The bear eventually went on it's merry way, and Santiago was able to get new food to enjoy his special day.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Video: Mom shields son from black bear as it eats meal in Mexico