The animal was swimming in the harbour at Steveston Fisherman’s Wharf in Richmond, B.C., Canada
Tourists had been feeding the animal bread crumbs from the pier as it approached them
Footage shows the sea lion grab a young girl sitting at the side of the pier before pulling her into the water
A man, believed to be a relative, immediately jumps in after her before rescuing the girl in a matter of seconds
A little girl was left traumatised after a sea lion grabbed her as she sat on the edge of a pier before dragging her underwater.
The horrifying incident took place at the Steveston Fisherman’s Wharf in Richmond B.C., in Canada, as tourists watched the animal looking for fish.
Footage shows people laughing as the sea lion bobs up and down in the water.
At one point it jumps right up to a young girl who was leaning over the side of the pier to get a better look.
She flinches back and giggles – seemingly thinking the animal is being playful – before sitting at the water’s edge.
But the sea lion then leaps from the water grabs her by the dress before pulling her in.
Onlookers gasp and scream as a man, believed to be a relative, jumps fully clothed into the harbour to rescue her.
He lifts her to safety before climbing out himself – clearly shaken by the incident.
The sea lion does not reappear as the completely drenched young girl is led away by relatives.
The video was captured by Michael Fujiwara, from Vancouver, who told the Vancouver Sun: ‘I was just sitting by the dock and then this sea lion popped its head out of the water just in front of me. I just took out my cell phone and started filming.
‘The sea lion actually attracted a lot of attention from the visitors there, including the young girl.
‘She and her family, I guess, they came, they started feeding the animal bread crumbs or whatever it was, and then I guess the animal got a little too comfortable.’
Sea Lions are highly intelligent creatures and are generally thought to be timid in nature.
There have been reports of aggressive attacks on humans in the past though it is not known if the animal was trying to harm the girl.