A video has gone viral today after terrifying incident involving a sea lion and a little girl was captured by a tourist on his cell phone. Within a blink of an eye, a cute sea lion did the unthinkable when it lunged out of the water and grabbed a little girl. It then went back into the water dragging the terrified child along with it.
Tourists congregating on a dock at the Steveston Fisherman’s Wharf in Richmond, British Columbia, were enjoying the beautiful spring weather on Saturday when they were joined by a visitor from the deep. According to CNN, a California sea lion “popped its head out of the water,” prompting one tourist to grab his cell phone and take a video of the seemingly friendly visitor.
Michael Fujiwara was that tourist who had his camera rolling for what was about to happen. Little did he know at the time that he was about to take a video that would make it on the morning news shows this week. He caught a move by a sea lion that is not often witnessed; the video he posted to Youtube has gone viral, with almost 9 million views as of Monday morning.
When the sea lion first appeared, the crowd grew as others in the area got wind of the cute creature hanging around in the water. A little girl and her family were on the edge of the dock feeding the sea lion, which is seen in the video. As you watch the video, you can hear the crowd’s whistles to the sea lion and see that they are extending their hands over the water as if they are offering the animal a treat.
The first move this sea lion makes is a lunge within inches of the little girl’s face, but the girl giggles as it appears it is a friendly gesture on the sea lion’s part. This mood changes quickly when the sea lion makes contact with his second lunge at the girl. As you can see in the video below, there are posted warnings about the sea lions. They warn people not to feed the sea lions, and the warnings should be heeded, expressed a member of the harbor authority.
You can see in the video above that the sea lion grabs onto the child’s dress and whips her backward into the water. The little girl was like a rag doll under the strength of the sea lion. She went into the water with speed under the power of this seemingly friendly animal. The girl went backward into the water and a man, who Fujiwara believed was a relative of the girls, jumped in after her.
The man grabbed onto the girl, and the bystanders on the dock helped pull them both back to safety. CNN spoke with Bob Baziuk, the general manager of Steveston Harbour Authority. He told the news outlet that he is trying to get more information on the incident, but from what he understands, the girl and the man who rescued her were not hurt.
The migratory route of the sea lions goes right by the harbor, and Baziuk said that periodically a male sea lion will make its way into the dock area to scoop up some free food. The harbor authority has warned visitors over the years not to feed the sea lions.
Baziuk said, “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.”
Many people see the sea lions as puppies of the sea, much like what the Facebook post and the picture above from the Huffington Post indicates. But just like any animal that lives in the wild, they can be unpredictable. Whether that sea lion that pulled the little girl into the water just wanted to play or not, it was a violent-looking yank off the dock for that child. What if that sea lion didn’t let go, they are fast and they go deep into the water. The outcome for this little girl could have been tragic.
[Featured Image by Martin Mejia/AP Images]