Startling video shows sea lion snatching girl from pier

Out of nowhere, this sea lion reaches out of the water, grabs the girl and pulls her underwater in a matter of seconds.

"It initially jumped up to the girl to read her I guess", Fujiwara told the CBC. The little girl sat on the side of the wharf and the next thing you know, she's in the water. "Her family was just in shock".

Growing up to more than 7 feet, this sea lion, most likely a California sea lion native to the British Columbia area, can weigh up to 860 pounds.

The signs also warn that sea lion bites "can cause very serious infections that may lead to amputation of a limb or even death".

@MichaelFujiwara You do realize that when you taunt a wild animal, they are going to either 1) try to protect themselves or 2) think that it's food right?!

"If you feed the animals like this, you're asking for trouble", he said.

The man who shot heart stopping video of a sea lion snatching a little girl off a Vancouver-area wharf says at first he froze. But they can be aggressive although the sea lion in this instance may not have being trying to intentionally hurt the little girl.

During the roughly two-minute video, the sea lion could be seen circling beneath the wharf, next to a fishing boat.

"The sea lion actually attracted a lot of attention from the visitors there, including the young girl", Michael Fujiwara, the man who filmed the incident, told The Vancouver Sun. They are not circus performers.

Suddenly the sea lion jumped up, bit the girl's dress and pulled her backwards into the water. And Fujiwara's video depicts at least one person pretending to hold food over the animal's snout.

He hopes the video of the encounter will teach people not to feed wild animals like sea lions in the future. "They're not trained to be next to people".

Mr Trites added the animal may have mistaken part of her dress for food and advises the public to always keep its distance from wildlife.

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