The latest video going viral on the Internet shows a young girl getting dragged into the water by a sea lion. In Richmond, British Columbia, Michael Fujiwara was recording with his cell phone as a little girl and her family were sitting on a dock watching a California sea lion emerge from the water. The family began feeding the sea lion, and Fujiwara said that the sea lion appeared to get more comfortable with the family as they were laughing and whistling at the creature.
However, the situation became more intense when the sea lion lunged toward the girl’s face. The sea lion didn’t reach, and the child saw the initial lunge as playfulness as she laughed delightedly. Then, the sea lion made a second lunge and successfully dragged her into the water. A man, who Fujiwara believes to be a member of the girl’s family, had to jump into the water to retrieve the girl, with the help of bystanders who pulled them back onto dry land. According to Fujiwara, the family quickly left the scene without saying too much, as they were visibly shaken up after the close encounter. Fujiwara says the he visits the docks about once a week, and has never witnessed such behavior by sea lions in the past.
According to Bob Baziuk, the general manager of the Steveston Harbour Authority, that area is along the sea lions’ migratory route and, because of the harbor’s reputation as a fish market, males have wandered further in hoping for an easy meal. Because of the abundance of fish being sold, Baziuk has had to warn visitors in the past to need feed animals, including sea lions. “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,” Baziuk says. He also said that he got word that no one was injured in the encounter.