Authorities for Steveston Harbour in British Columbia, Canada — where a young girl was dragged into the water by a sea lion, as seen in a now-viral video — are urging visitors not to feed the marine mammals.
“It’s total stupidity on the part of the adults,” Steveston Harbor authority Robert Kiesman told Today on Monday, May 22, of the incident. “Not only do you let your family members feed a wild animal, but then they went and let their little girl sit on the edge of the dock, with her back to it, with her dress hanging over it.”
Kiesman told the outlet that feeding sea lions is the equivalent to offering food to bears. “Don’t go up to a bear in a forest and hand it a ham sandwich,” he continued. “Don’t come to the dock and throw crackers at a sea lion. It’s common sense.”
As previously reported, a girl was seen being dragged into the water by a sea lion in a YouTube clip published on Saturday, May 20. In the video, which has now garnered more than 2.2 million views, the sea lion can be seen swimming near the Steveston Fisherman’s Wharf as spectators throw bits of food into the water. Moments after the girl leaned over the edge of the wharf to get a closer look at the sea lion, animal jumped up to grab her by the dress and pulled her into the water.
A man quickly jumped into the water to rescue her and lifted her out of the water and away from the sea lion. The girl and her family quickly fled the scene as another man can be heard asking her rescuer if he’s OK.
According to Michael Fujiwara, who captured the dramatic footage, the girl’s family “were just in shock” over the terrifying incident. “They were pretty shaken up,” he told CBC News on Saturday.
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