- Video recorded sea lion yanking young girl off a dock into the water in British Columbia
- Bystander jumped in and fortunately got her out of the water quickly
- Expert said sea lion probably mistook girl’s dress for food, reminded people not to feed wild animals
CANADA – A viral video has recorded the harrowing moment a large sea lion grabbed a young girl off a dock in Richmond, British Columbia on Saturday.
Michael Fujiwara, owner of the video, said the incident in Steveston Fisherman’s Wharf transpired just after the girl along with her family and a crowd approached the sea lion and began feeding it bread crumbs.
“Her family started feeding the animal and the sea lion started to become comfortable,” CNN quoted him as saying. “It initially jumped up to the girl to read her. And then it came back up a second time, but this time grabbing the girl by the waist and dragging her down into the water.”
Fortunately for the girl, a quick-thinking bystander jumped in and helped her out of the water.
Nobody was injured in the incident, but Fujiwara said the girl and her family quickly left the scene.
“They were probably very shaken up and just wanted to get away from the sea lion as fast as possible,” he said.
Meanwhile, online users are lauding the man who quickly decided to get the girl without worrying about his cellphone or wallet or getting wet.
According to Andrew Tries, director of the Marine Mammal Research Unit of the University of British Columbia, the sea lion had probably mistaken the girl’s dress for food.
“The little girl has her back to the sea lion and it would appear that the sea lion sees part of her dress, thinks it’s food, reaches up, grabs at the food and pulls her in by the dress, but it wasn’t food of course,” he said.
Trites added he hopes the incident can serve as wake-up call for people who don’t understand the implications of feeding wild animals.
“People don’t understand that this is not a tamed animal you might see at a circus or in a movie, these are wild animals who are hungry,” he said. “And if they are habitually trained to get food, they will come close and want it.”