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WATCH: Untamed Sea Lion Grabs Girl By the Dress and Drags Her Into Water

A cell phone video from Vancouver is getting significant attention after it captured the shocking moment where a young girl was dragged underwater by a sea lion.

College student Michael Fujiwara was spending his Saturday at Steveston Fisherman’s Wharf in Richmond, British Columbia, and he pulled out his phone when a California sea lion was seen swimming around the harbor. As tourists tossed food to the sea lion, a little girl and her family got really close to the edge of the docks.

After nipping at the crowd, the sea lion ended up biting the girl’s dress from behind and pulling her into the sea. Onlookers screamed in horror at that moment, and a fully dressed man (presumably a relative) dove in and got the girl out.

“After being pulled back onto the dock, the family quickly walked away from the area without saying much,” Fujiwara told CBC News. “They were probably very shaken up and just wanted to get away from the sea lion as fast as possible.”

The video has prompted online debate about whether the incident happened because of the sea lion or the people who crowded around it. CBC spoke to Andrew Trites, a Marine Mammal Research professor with the University of British Columbia, and he said the sea lion was acting like a wild animal, not necessarily showing “aggression.”

“People don’t understand that this is not a tamed animal you might see at a circus or in a movie,” Trites said. “These are wild animals who are hungry. And if they are habitually trained to get food, they will come close and want it.”

Watch above, via Michael Fujiwara.

[Image via screengrab]

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