A shocking video shows the moment a sea lion jumped to the edge of a dock and grabbed a little girl by the dress, dragging her into the water. The girl was pulled out of the water by a quick-thinking man who jumped in after her.
You can watch the stunning video, recorded by Michael Fujiwara and posted to Youtube on May 20, above.
The incident occurred at Steveston Fisherman’s Wharf, in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada, Fujiwara said in the caption of the video.
“The girl was rescued by her family members and bystanders. Nobody was injured in the incident,” Fujiwara wrote.
Fujiwara told CBC News he and others were watching the sea lion swimming in the area near the dock. The girl and her family were feeding the animal breadcrumbs.
“The sea lion actually attracted a lot of attention from the visitors there, including the young girl,” he told the Vancouver Sun. “She and her family, I guess, they came, they started feeding the animal bread crumbs or whatever it was, and then I guess the animal got a little too comfortable.”
The sea lion had made an attempt at her before pulling her into the water.
“And it initially jumped up to the girl to read her I guess,” he told the CBC. “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.”
Fujiwara said the family left right after the girl was pulled from the water. They have not been identified, and it is not clear if the man who saved her was related to them. He has also not been named.
“They were pretty shaken up,” Fujiwara told the CBC. “Her family were just in shock.”
Andrew Trites, the director of the University of British Columbia’s Marine Mammal Research, puts the blame on the family, not the sea lion.
“My first reaction to the video is just how stupid some people can be to not treat wildlife with proper respect,” he told the CBC. “This was a male California sea lion. They are huge animals. They are not circus performers. They’re not trained to be next to people.”
Trites said the animal appears to be used to people feeding it, which he said is an issue. He says he hopes the encounter teachers people to not feed wild animals like sea lions.
“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 told the CBC. “You keep your distance. Watch the animals, but let wildlife be wildlife.”