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Not so cute now: Curious sea lion drags girl into water

At first, the moment was a cute interaction between human and nature. The next: a scary moment for a young girl and her family.

In a video taken by YouTube user Michael Fujiwara, visitors at the Steveston Fisherman’s Wharf in Richmond, British Columbia found a curious — and seemingly friendly — sea lion paddling around a dock. The creature first pops out of the water in front of a young girl. Laughing, she takes a seat on the edge of the dock.

That’s when things go badly. The sea lion grabs the girl’s dress with her back turned and pulls her into the water.

A man jumps in after the girl and helps pull her to safety.

Fujiwara continued filming as the girl and her family quickly leave the dock. The man who came to her rescue, who was possibly related to the girl, said he was not injured. Fujiwara told CBC.ca that he believed some people had been feeding the sea lion, a no-no, an expert told NBC News.

“People don’t understand that this is not a tamed animal you might see at a circus or in a movie, these are wild animals who are hungry,” said Andrew Trites, a professor who oversees the Marine Mammal Research Unit at the University of British Columbia. “And if they are habitually trained to get food, they will come close and want it.”

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