There are lots of sea lion shows around the world. In these shows, sea lions are taught to play balls playfully swim along their trainers and even give sweet kisses to guests and visitors.
And because of these shows, many started to treat them as harmless and friendly water creature.
But what most people don’t know is that sea lions, if not trained properly, can be really harmful.
The whole event was captured by a college student Michael Fujiwara in Steveston Harbour in Richmod, British Columbia.
In this video, the massive sea lion can be seen swimming and grabbing bread that someone threw in the water.
The sea lion then hops up from the water and gotten really close to a little girl kneeling near the dock’s edge.
All of a sudden, it leaps from the water and immediately grabbed the girl’s dress as it drags her underwater.
A quick thinking man immediately dives into the water and pulls the poor girl to safety, unharmed.
It was a pretty scary and shocking moment for the people who witnessed the said incident.
“They were pretty shaken up, her family were just in shock.” Fujiwara said in one interview.
The Director of UBC (University of British Columbia) Marine Mammal Research Unit, Andrew Trites, said that that sea lion probably thought that the girl’s dress was food.
“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 general manager of the Steveston Harbour Authority, Bob Baziuk said that they’ve been warning guests and visitors NOT to feed animals.
It was on their rules and regulations for years already.
“It’s not Sea World, it’s a place where you buy fish,” Baziuk said. “If you feed the animals like this you’re asking for trouble.
The Vancouver Aquarium’s Senior Marine Mammal Trainer, Danielle Hyson also gave out a stern warning about feeding wild animals.
“Don’t feed the wild animals! People were feeding that animal, the feeding stops, the animal then gave what we would call an aggressive precursor where he kind of jumped out of the water gave a little huff and a lunge, and then instead of people backing away, people actually got closer which set the animal up for a perfect grab and bite and pull into the water.”
The expert said that the whole incident could have been prevented if people only kept their distance.
Good thing that the poor girl wasn’t bitten or drowned to death by the sea lion.
However, authorities hope that this scary incident will serve as a warning or a lesson on how to approach these kind of sea creature.
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