The crowd at Steveston Fisherman’s Wharf in Richmond B.C., Canada, was charmed by a sea lion as it swam near the wharf eating pieces of bread thrown into the water by tourists. A little girl near the water’s edge giggled with delight when the creature jumped up in what looked like a playful move, but the moment the child sat down on the pier, the sea lion quickly grabbed her by her dress and dragged her underwater.
The entire scene was caught on camera, including the brave gentleman who jumped into the harbor after the girl and saved her from drowning, or worse.
Onlookers can be heard screaming as the rescue takes place just moments after the attack and both the man and the little girl are pulled safely from the water.
Michael Fujiwara of Vancouver took the film with his cell phone. “I was just sitting by the dock and then this sea lion popped its head out of the water just in front of me. I just took out my cell phone and started filming,” he recalled, noting that the large sea lion was attracting a lot of attention from the tourists in the area, including the little girl, who can be seen grinning just before her harrowing experience.
“She and her family, I guess, they came, they started feeding the animal bread crumbs or whatever it was, and then I guess the animal got a little too comfortable,” said Fujiwara.
Known to be highly intelligent, sea lions are generally thought to be timid creatures, but there have been reports of the animals becoming aggressive with humans. It’s unknown if this particular sea lion was trying to hurt the little girl.
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