In a heart-stopping incident that was captured in a video, a sea lion dragged a young girl into water at a wharf in Canada, the Vancouver Sun reported on Sunday (May 21).
The sea lion was searching for fish to eat in the area near the dock of Stevenston Fisherman's Wharf in Richmond, British Columbia, the report added.
In footage uploaded by bystander Michael Fujiwara on Saturday, the sea lion had surfaced and seemed to be frolicking in the water.
This attracted a small crowd of interested onlookers, which included the girl and her family, who approached the edge of the dock for a better look.
The assertive sea lion even leapt up from the water towards the girl's face at one point.
Giggling and applause could be heard in the background.
Her curiosity piqued, the girl sat down at the edge of the dock to get an even clearer view of the sea lion's antics.
The sea lion then lunged towards the girl and bit her outfit, pulling her into the murky waters around the dock.
An older male relative immediately jumped into the water to save the girl, while the startled sea lion swam out of sight.
The two-minute video, which has since received nearly nine million views and 23,000 likes, ends with the girl walking away with her family, rattled but unhurt.
General manager of the Steveston Harbour Authority Bob Baziuk told CNN that Stevenston Harbour lies on the migratory route of sea lions, which occasionally wander into the docks in search of food.
He added that some people insisted on feeding animals at the docks despite persistent warnings against the practice.