Sea Lion snatches girl from pier - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Sea Lion snatches girl from pier

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(NBC) -

A college student has startling video of a sea lion snatching a girl off a dock and yanking her into the water on Canada's West Coast.

It happened Saturday in Richmond, a Vancouver suburb. University student Michael Fujiwara tells CBC News that some people started feeding the animal breadcrumbs.

In Fujiwara's video, the sea lion pops up toward the girl as bystanders laugh. Then she sits by the pier's edge. In an instant, the massive mammal shoots up, grabs her dress and pulls her into the water as people scream.

The sea lion disappears as a man plunges into the water and helps the girl out. The girl and the man did not appear injured and walked away from the scene.

Marine mammal expert Andrew Trites says the sea lion presumably thought the dress was food.

Jeff Boehm of the Marine Mammal Center in the San Francisco Bay Area said while sea lions typically feed on fish, they can be emboldened by humans who feed them.

"These are animals that are hunters," Boehm said. "They are sometimes, as may be the case here, attracted into ports or harbors where there are fishing communities or fish markets and sometimes, unfortunately, are fed by the public."

Boehm said people should maintain a distance of at least 100 feet from sea lions.

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