Girl snatched by sea lion treated for 'superficial wound'
Published Tuesday, May 23, 2017 1:03PM PDT
Last Updated Tuesday, May 23, 2017 2:32PM PDT
A young girl pulled off a Richmond, B.C. dock over the weekend by a sea lion is receiving medical treatment for a wound sustained in the incident.
The communications manager at the Vancouver Aquarium's Marine Science Centre said they've been in touch with the girl's family and learned that she has a superficial wound, but would not provide further details.
Officials have not identified the girl or her family, but NBC reported that a post on the social media site Weibo that appeared to be from her mother read: "My little treasure is okay. All we lost are two pairs of sunglasses."
The girl was wounded Saturday evening at a pier in Steveston. Video posted to social media shows a young girl sitting on the edge of the wharf.
A sea lion swims past behind her, then comes back, propels itself out of the water, grabs her with its mouth and pulls her into the ocean.
A male believed to be a family member jumps in after the girl, then the pair are pulled back into the wharf by the gathering crowd.
Biologists said the sea lion likely mistook her white dress for food, and used the incident to remind the public not to feed wildlife.
The pier has become a tourist attraction in the days since the incident, drawing crowds hoping for a sea lion sighting. The Steveston Harbour Authority has put up signs telling people not to feed the animals, and the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans has also put up signs warning parents to keep children away.
But many have ignored the warnings to keep a safe distance. On Monday, adults and children could be seen hanging over the railings, watching swimming sea lions and taking photos with their cellphones.
With a report from CTV Vancouver's Sarah MacDonald