A sea lion dragged a little girl into the water off the coast of Canada, shocking onlookers.
The unsettling incident was caught on video by a student who had been filming the animal who initially appeared to be looking at and playing in front of the audience. The girl and her companion, presumably her family, are only heard speaking Mandarin on the video and may have been Chinese tourists viewing the Canadian wildlife.
Andrew Trites, the director of University of British Columbia’s Marine Mammal Research Unit says the video give a valuable lesson. “My first reaction to the video is just how stupid some people can be to not treat wildlife with proper respect,” Trites said “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,” Trites added. “You keep your distance. Watch the animals, but let wildlife be wildlife.”
The Daily Caller reports:
Onlookers, who were originally marveling at the marine life, became quite distressed once they saw the sea lion go over the dock, bite the girl and pull her under water. A man (presumably her father, relative or family friend) jumped after her to ensure that she was not being dragged into the depths of the sea and that she could make it back onto Steveston Fisherman’s Wharf safely.
“They were pretty shaken up,” said Michael Fujiwara, the student who filmed the whole ordeal, according to CBC News. “Her family were just in shock.”
Watch the video:
This isn’t the only time a girl has been dragged into the water by a sea lion. A similar incident in 2009 occurred when a five-year-old was targeted while fishing with her father.