25 May, 2017
A video that has now gone viral, which shows a little girl being pulled into the water by a sea lion in British Columbia, is being looked at by local experts as an example of what not to do near marine mammals.
A spokeswoman for the Vancouver Aquarium said in an email that the girl's family contacted the facility and is getting the appropriate medical treatment after she received a superficial injury.
Reports of crowds gathering on the dock where a young girl was pulled into the water by a sea lion is infuriating one marine mammal expert because it could be risky both for people and the sea lion.
Smokey Attwood lives in Steveston Village in Richmond and says people need to stop feeding the wildlife.
Families are undeterred by the young girl's terrifying experience, and were spotted leaning over the dock's edge to get a better view of the animal. The girl, along with a man who jumped into help her, were quickly pulled to safety.
"You wouldn't go up to a grizzly bear in the bush and hand him a ham sandwich, so you shouldn't be handing a thousand-pound wild animal in the water slices of bread", Kiesman told CBC News. You can see at the beginning of the video, people are feeding it and the animal starts to become a little bit agitated and frustrated and hoping to elicit more food.
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The girl was seen on video shrieking as she was dragged into the cold water.
An official later accused the family - who live in Vancouver, 25 miles away, but were assumed to be foreign tourists by many viewers - of having fed the wild animals, calling people who do so "blockheads" and "incredibly stupid".
"It's a mistake to feed them".
"The sea lion actually attracted a lot of attention from the visitors there, including the young girl", he told the Vancouver Sun.
At one point, the sea lion rears up and huffs at the girl, who flinches and laughs.