Sea Lion Yanks Girl Into the Water in Frightening Viral Video

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In a word? YIKES!

In another word? PHEW!

Footage of a sea lion leaping up out the water and dragging a young girl back down under with it has spread across the Internet, causing many to react in shock and fear over the actions of this unexpectedly aggressive creature.

sea and girl

The video below was filmed in Richmond, British Columbia near the Steveston Fisherman's Wharf in Canada.

It starts off innocently enough, too, as a group of people are seen throwing tiny bits of food to the animal and commenting on how large it is. We hear someone's cell phone go off.

It all seems like harmless, normal fun.

But then the sea lion swims close to a docked boat and closer to the dock itself. It sticks its head out from under the water and approaches a squating little girl.

At first, it leaps out of the water toward the girl, almost to give her a kiss on the face.

The girl laughs. So does everyone around her.

From there, however, the girl sits down... turns her head away slightly... and, almost as if it was waiting for its prey to peer in the other direction, the sea lion jumps up and actually bites down on the girl's dress.

It then yanks her into the water.

scary sea lion

Thankfully, a man (believed to be a relative) immediately springs into action, leaping in to save the girl before any physical damage can be done.

Michael Fujiwara, who captured the dramatic footage, told CBC News that the girl’s family “were just in shock” over the terrifying incident.

“They were pretty shaken up,” he said.

According to Andrew Trites, the Director of UBC's Marine Mammal Research Unit, the sea lion likely thought the girl's dress was food.

"My first reaction to the video is just how stupid some people can be to not treat wildlife with proper respect," he said, adding:

"This was a male California sea lion. They are huge animals. They are not circus performers. They're not trained to be next to people."

And Bob Baziuk, the general manager of the Steveston Harbour Authority, explained to CNN how they've ben warning visitors not to feed animals for years.

"It's not Sea World, it's a place where you buy fish," Baziuk says. "If you feed the animals like this, you're asking for trouble."

The video has been viewed over 2.2 million times.

See it for yourself:

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