Crowd Laughs at Sea Lion, Until It Snatches a Child

Girl at wharf in British Columbia was pulled under in an instant
By Gina Carey,  Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2017 5:10 PM CDT

No, Steven Spielberg didn’t direct this, but it's a watery video that may scare your socks off. A crowd at Steveston Wharf in Richmond, British Columbia, gasps as a young girl is pulled by her dress into the water by a California sea lion. CBC News reports Michael Fujiwara pulled out his phone when a sea lion surfaced and began swimming around the dock on Saturday. About 1:25 into the video, the mammal jumps from the water near the girl's face to laughter from the child and those watching; 15 seconds later, the animal grabs the waist of her dress as she perches on the dock's ledge and drags her beneath the surface in an instant. An unidentified man jumps into the water as onlookers scream. He is able to promptly retrieve the girl, who leaves quickly with her family; Fujiwara describes them as "pretty shaken up."

Fujiwara claims people were feeding the sea lion breadcrumbs, something Steveston Harbour Authority GM Bob Baziuk warns against. "It's not Sea World. It's a place where you buy fish," Baziuk tells CNN. "If you feed the animals like this you're asking for trouble." Baziuk says neither the girl nor her rescuer were hurt, and that he is seeking more information about the incident. A marine mammal expert at the University of British Columbia believes the sea lion, which he confirmed was a male, misread the situation: "It would appear that the sea lion sees part of her dress, thinks it's food, reaches up, grabs at the food, and pulls her in by the dress. But it wasn't food of course." (More sea lions stories.)

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