June 29, 2017

Officials criticize family for "reckless behavior" after sea lion grabs girl

25 May 2017, 01:54 | Candice Butler

A family member jumped in to her rescue immediately. Source YouTube Michael Fujiwara

A family member jumped in to her rescue immediately. Source YouTube  Michael Fujiwara

In a viral video shot by Vancouver resident Michael Fujiwara, a group of tourists can be seen admiring some sea lions at Steveston Harbor near Richmond in British Columbia.

Fujiwara grabbed his phone and started shooting video.

"You wouldn't go up to a grizzly bear in the bush and hand him a ham sandwich, so you shouldn't be handing a thousand-pound wild animal in the water slices of bread", said the official.

"Sea lions can carry some really nasty bacteria in their mouth".

He went on to say that the family displayed "totally reckless behavior" by allowing the young girl to sit on the ledge of the dock following the first time the sea lion snapped at her.

It begins with the sound of cameras clicking and onlookers marvelling at the size of a California sea lion that people are feeding. They are huge animals. Fortunately a man is able to jump in the water and rescue the girl.

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The little girl leans over the dock's railing, and the sea lion makes a false charge toward her face.

Jeff Boehm of the Marine Mammal Center in the San Francisco Bay Area said while sea lions typically feed on fish, they can be emboldened by humans who feed them. "Her family were just in shock". However, the sea lion which has now received celebrity status is receiving more visitors. They walked away from the scene quickly.

The little girl sits down on the edge of the wharf and, in a split second, the animal jumps up, grabs her dress in its mouth and drags her into the water.

In the video captured by Michael Fujiwara in British Columbia, Canada, the animal can be seen initially bobbing around near a dock - and appeared to be tossed food by people off-camera - before a young girl gets excited by the sea lion's presence, not knowing how risky the situation would become.

"It is illegal. Now they will see why it is actually risky", Kiesman said.

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