A video clip recorded at Steveston Harbour in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada, shows the dramatic moment a sea lion pulled a young girl into the water.
The crowd at the harbor had been feeding the male sea lion and a college student Michael Fujiwara was recording the exchange between the animal and people.
Things soon got out of control when the sea lion jumped out of the water toward a young girl, who immediately stepped back. But for some reason, she sat on the wall near the water, after which the sea creature pounced at her once again, grabbed her by the dress and pulled her into the water.
A man standing nearby, possibly the girl’s father or relative, immediately dove into the water to rescue her after which both of them were pulled out by people around.
The director of the University of British Columbia’s Marine Mammal Research Unit, Andrew Trites, told NBC News the sea lion likely wasn’t “attacking” the girl, but was trying to get more food.
“All I saw was an animal that was calm, curious and hungry,” Trites said, pointing out that that sea lions usually don’t come close to humans unless they’ve been made to “expect food.”
Fortunately, the girl wasn’t injured but according to Fujiwara, the family seemed pretty shaken up as they immediately walked away from the harbor.
Bob Baziuk, the general manager of the Steveston Harbour Authority, told CNN that the authorities have long asked visitors not to feed the animals.
"It's not Sea World, it's a place where you buy fish. If you feed the animals like this you're asking for trouble,” he said. But sadly, no one pays heed to his words, prompting incidents like this.
Check out the video above to see what exactly happened with the young girl.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters