A large sea lion lunged after a young girl and dragged her into the water in a now-viral video captured at Steveston Harbour in Richmond, Canada.
In the video captured by Michael Fujiwara, the animal can be seen initially bobbing around near a dock — and appeared to be tossed food by people off-camera — before a young girl gets excited by the sea lion’s presence, not knowing how dangerous the situation would become.
The little girl then turned her back to the water as she sat on a wooden ledge. Seconds later, the sea lion grabbed her and dragged her by her white dress off the wharf and into the water as horrified screams erupted. A man immediately jumped in to rescue her, and they both made swift exits from the water.
Bob Beziuk, general manager of Steveston Harbour, said sea lions will engage with visitors if they are fed — but they’re still dangerous wild animals.
“If you throw things into the water to attract them, they’re not to be messed with,” Beziuk told PEOPLE on Sunday. He said the harbor has signs posted warning visitors of feeding the animals.
Beziuk added that he “first and foremost” hopes the girl is okay as he awaits updated information. (The little girl appeared to be unharmed but it has not yet been confirmed.)
RELATED VIDEO: Sea Lion Joins Family on Santa Barbara Kayak
“I am waiting for some updated information. It appeared from the video that she was pulled out, everybody was okay, but I certainly hope she is okay. That’s first and foremost,” he said.