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Father of Girl Who Experienced Sea Lion Attack Speaks Out Against the Finger Pointers

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By now, you may have come across the shocking video of a little girl being dragging into the water by a sea lion in British Colombia, Canada, earlier this month. The attack, caught on camera by Michael Fujiwara—a student at Simon Fraser University—shows tourists admiring the animal (possibly feeding it) before it leaped out of the water to grab the girl with its mouth. Fortunately, the little girl’s grandfather jumped in to save her. Now, the girl is being treated for a dangerous illness and her father is speaking out about the incident.

The girl’s father and Lau family patriarch (whose first name is being withheld for privacy concerns) recently spoke with CBC News and had this to say about the child’s grandfather:

“If he had one- or two-second doubt about that, my girl could have been gone by then. That reaction, makes him a hero.”

A Reason For The Attack?

But while Fujiwara told PEOPLE that the Laus had been feeding the sea lion just moments before the violent incident, Lau says it’s just not true.

“There was somebody beside them that was trying to feed them,” Lau told CBC. “Also, they weren’t trying to take pictures or anything… My daughter went to the front to try to see the sea lions, to get a closer look.”

Unfortunately, that’s when his daughter got a bit too close to the animal at Steveston Harbor in the town of Richmond.

“That’s a lesson she took and she has taken that lesson in a hard way,” said Lau.

You can see the full video of the incident below:

[youtube_iframe id=”pMDtibc13fc”]

The little girl was rushed to the B.C. Children’s Hospital, and prescribed antibiotics for a wound from the attack. Unfortunately though, she’s still at risk of the effects of a rare condition called “seal finger.” This condition can result in bizarre swelling that ultimately leads to the loss of fingers and even hands. The child is being treated and it appears she is receiving proper care for it.

“Only thing I care is God, she is safe,” Lau said. “God, I didn’t miss out anyone from my family at that moment. I could have gone organizing a funeral by now rather than doing interview.”

I certainly can’t blame him for feeling that way. Parents, remember to keep your kids at a safe distance from wild animals. While the seal was merely acting on its own impulses, one can never guess when they might turn on you.

(Image: YouTube / @Michael Fujiwara)