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Sea Lion drags little girl into water at Vancouver area wharf

02 Juin 2017

At first, he figured he was just filming a cute encounter with a sea lion... until the sea lion yanked the girl into the water with it.

A young girl narrowly escaped serious injury after she was dragged into the sea by a wild sea lion.

At one point, it hops up from the water really close to a little girl, who was kneeling near the dock's edge.

Huge animal's indeed. California Sea Lions can weigh as much as 860 pounds.

People were surprised that the sea lion came right up to the dock's edge.

The Vancouver Aquarium hopes the family of the girl who was pulled into the water in Richmond B.C.by a sea lion Saturday, comes forward.

A man immediately jumps in after the girl, helping her to safety.

Fujiwara noted that the family of the little girl was "pretty shaken up" by the encounter.

Bob Beziuk, a general manager of the harbor, told PEOPLE that sea lions will engage with visitors if they are fed - but they're still unsafe wild animals. When the little girl sits near the water, the animal jumps up, tugs at her clothes and pulls her into the ocean.

"And they're hungry", he said.

Andrew Trite, director of the University of Britsh Columbia marine mammal research video, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation the incident illustrates why people should keep their distance from wildlife.

"[When you feed them], it builds an expectation with the animal that they're going to get something from you", added Otjen. They are not circus performers.

"Now we finally have something out there that's going to grab people's attention and show them exactly why they shouldn't be behaving like this".

According to Danielle Hyson, a senior marine mammal trainer for the Vancouver Aquarium, the sea lion was getting "increasingly frustrated" as the feeding stopped.

Sea Lion drags little girl into water at Vancouver area wharf