Canada: A video showing sea lion attacking a young girl has gone viral on YouTube.
The first part of the video shows the sea lion swimming near the dock in Steveston, a seaside on Canada’s western coast.
At first, the sea lion seems to enjoy the attention of the onlookers who seem to click its pictures.
It comes closer to the dock to grab a piece of food someone threw at him.
As seen the animal comes closer to the dock, rises from the water and swims back in, the little girl standing kneels to watch him.
She then sits on the dock, to her surprise the seal jumps out of the water grabbing her and pulling the little girl into the water along with him. The onlookers scream in horror. A man immediately jumps into the water to save the little girl. He pulls her out of the water and helps her to comes out.
Neither of the two suffered any injuries. The girl seemed fine and left the place immediately after the incident.
The video was taken by Michael Fujiwara, was posted on YouTube on Saturday and has gained 1.5 million views.
“They were pretty shaken up, Her family was just in shock” said Fujiwara to CBC News.
He said he regularly visits the dock but has not seen any such incident before.
Andrew Tites, director of the University of British Columbia’s Marine Mammal Research Unit, criticized those who got close to the animal, which he said is a California sea lion.
My first reaction to the video is just how stupid some people can be to not treat wildlife with proper respect,” he told CBC News, adding later: “They are not circus performers. They’re not trained to be next to people.”
Mr Tiles said such animals are not naturally dangerous but the animal likely thought the girl’s dress as food.
Lt. John Sandmeyer told a local television station in San Diego that such attacks by sea lions on humans are rare.
In an another incident reported, a sea lion dragged a 62-year-old man off his boat and about 20 feet underwater. Dan Carlin was posing for a picture with a yellowtail fish he had caught when the sea lion bit into his hand and pulled him overboard, said the TV station. The victim Carlin though survived the incident, his hand required 20 stitches.
An adult California sea lion is about the same size as a 6-foot man and weighs about 610 to 860 pounds.Though the “cliched circus seal” that balances a ball on its nose and jumps through hoops is typically a California sea lion, such animals once in the wild are sleek and faster than any other sea lion, according to a National Geographic article.
They live along North America’s western coast.
In winter season males migrate to the north and return back to California and Mexican coastlines during the summer to breed, as reported in NDTV.