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A man in Northern Californian who punched a bear in the face to save his dogs said Thursday he would do it again if the animal continued to be a threat.

According to KTLA sister station KTXL in Sacramento, the bear was trying to get past a low gate on the deck to Carl Moore’s Meadow Vista house when he heard his Chihuahua barking.

“She was terrified,” Moore said.

The 73-year-old contractor raised his arms and charged the bear, which retreated up a ramp leading to the deck. According to several witnesses, the bear reared up and turned toward Moore, who smacked it in the face.

“Boom, I hit him good,” Moore said.

Another man who also lives at the house, which is about 40 miles northeast of Sacramento, couldn’t believe what he saw.

“He whips to the right and hit him with a right. … It was crazy,” John Sargent said.

Sargent said Moore is an ex-Marine, former boxer and onetime bouncer at bars in Texas.

“This big right hand has sent a lot of people to the floor,” Moore said.

Moore has lost three dozen chickens over the past few weeks and was convinced the bear was after his dogs, which he adores.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife rangers believed the bear weighed about 300 pounds.

“I never faced anything in my life that I didn’t figure I can whip,” Moore said.

Moore said he would do it again.

“These dogs are my babies,” Moore said.

Because the bear has been eating his chickens, Moore can get a permit that would allow the bear to be killed, state wildlife officials said.

But Moore doesn’t like the idea of killing the animal.

“If it comes back, I’ll call 911 and let the sheriff do it because I don’t want to shoot no animal,” Moore said.

This story was originally published by KTXL and distributed by Tribune Broadcasting.