Wild animals are unpredictable. Because of this video, 8 million people now know this to be true.
Just because their behavior looks cute and innocent, it doesn’t mean that it is.
These are still wild animals, and it’s a good thing to keep in mind every time you encounter them.
The video was taken in British Columbia, on Canada’s west coast.
The video begins as a sea lion is seen swimming near the dock in Steveston Fisherman’s Wharf, near Vancouver.
The crowd is entertained by seeing the animal so close.
One man wiggles his fingers at the marine mammal.
An adult California sea lion can grow up to 6 feet in length and weigh between 610 to 860 pounds.
From the Washington Post:
The animal swims closer to the dock after grabbing a piece of food that someone threw.
It then rises from the water toward a little girl kneeling near the dock, then goes back in. The girl and others laugh.
She sits on the dock. After just one second, the sea lion jumps back, swiftly grabbing the girl by her white dress and dragging her into the water. Onlookers can be heard screaming in horror. A man immediately gets into the water to save the girl.
Neither the girl nor the man was injured. She can be seen immediately leaving after the incident at Steveston Fisherman’s Wharf near Vancouver, B.C.
And an expert says what we’re all thinking:
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.”
Read more: Washington Post
Do you know why it’s drummed into our heads to not feed the animals?
Because they’ll keep looking for food.
In this case, Tites suggests the sea lion may have thought the girl’s dress was food.
And now there’s a traumatized little girl who had a very frightening encounter with a sea lion.
It’s a good thing that that man jumped in and rescued her so quickly while everyone else just stood around and gawked.