Don't feed the sea lions

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It then swims near the family, lunges out of the water and grabs the girl by her dress, pulling her into the water. But for some reason, she sat on the wall near the water, after which the sea creature pounced at her once again, grabbed her by the dress and pulled her into the water.

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

The video appears to show tourists feeding a California sea lion bread crumbs.

After the sea lion retreated back into the water, the audience is left laughing.

At San Francisco's Pier 39, crowds pack the boardwalk to watch the sea lions as they play, bark and doze in the sun.

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As the tourists cry out in horror, one man, believed to a family member, immediately dives in after the girl and hoists her out to safety. "Even after it all happened, the sea lion stayed in the same spot, still waiting to be fed", Trites told NBC News. They say doctors might not know about the specific course of treatment that would be required, and want the family to reach out so they can ensure she gets the help she needs.

"After being pulled back onto the dock, the family quickly walked away from the area without saying much", Fujiwara said.

However, this group would soon learn this sea lion is anything but harmless. "It's not SeaWorld. These are wild animals".

"When we see performing animals, like at the circus, we get false information about whether animals like to be around people". Disturbing a marine animal can cause fine up to 100,000 Canadian dollars at Steveston Fisherman's Wharf. "They're not trained to be next to people". Male sea lions are known to be highly territorial and willing to attack humans, especially during mating season.

"It's not Sea World, it's a place where you buy fish".