RICHMOND, British Columbia (AP) – A college student has startling video of a sea lion snatching a girl off a dock and yanking her into the water on Canada’s West Coast.
It happened Saturday in Richmond, a Vancouver suburb. University student Michael Fujiwara tells CBC News that some people started feeding the animal breadcrumbs. The video went viral within minutes of the first posting late Saturday afternoon.
In Fujiwara’s video , the sea lion pops up toward the girl as bystanders laugh. Then she sits by the pier’s edge. In an instant, the massive mammal shoots up, grabs her dress and pulls her into the water as people scream.
“The sea lion actually attracted a lot of attention from the visitors there, including the young girl,” Fujiwara 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 disappears as a man plunges into the water and helps the girl out. She doesn’t appear injured and walks away with adults.
Marine mammal expert Andrew Trites says the sea lion presumably thought the dress was food.
“My first reaction to the video is just how stupid some people can be to not treat wildlife with proper respect,” he told CBC News. “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.”
“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.”
VIDEO USED IN THE STORY COMES FROM CNN