As passerbys cooed and urged a sea lion closer to the pier in Steveston, British Columbia, those excited murmurs turned into screams of horror as the sea lion grabbed a young girl, pulling her into the water.
Michael Fujiwara, a Simon Fraser University student, was in the seaside town of Steveston, near Vancouver, when he and other visitors saw the large, male sea lion approach, so he started filming it as a crowd gathered around the animal.
A family speaking Mandarin was watching as well and began feeding the sea lion bread crumbs as a little girl around 8 years old was sitting perched on the side of the dock.
Suddenly, the sea lion went halfway out of the water, grabbed the girl and dragged her backwards into the water. A man instinctively jumped into the water and pulled the girl back as panicked passerbys rushed over to help.
It’s not known if the man was related to the girl. Another woman took the girl to safety as the man came out of the water. Both were unharmed.
Fujiwara told CBC that he’s witnessed anything like what he was able to capture on video.
Animal experts say members of the public shouldn’t engage with animals in the wild. It appears as if the sea lion in the water was used to being around people and that may have been because the animal was expecting to be fed.