Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…

When it comes to danger in the ocean, the humble sea lion doesn’t get much publicity — instead, it’s sharks that we’re all afraid of (and rather unfairly, at that).

But a sea lion has stolen the spotlight today, after snatching an unsuspecting little girl and pulling her into the water at the Steveston Fisherman’s Wharf in the city of Richmond in British Colombia, Canada.

Bystander Michael Fujiwara captured footage of the girl being pulled in and swiftly rescued by a man who dived in after her; it’s unclear if her rescuer was related to her. Nobody was injured.

Sure, this looks bad, but don’t be too quick to judge the sea lion.

Robert Kiesman, chair of the Steveston Harbour Authority, has slammed the girl’s family for their “reckless” behaviour, telling CBC News that they were feeding the animal despite several signs in the area warning them not to.

“You wouldn’t go up to a grizzly bear in the bush and hand him a ham sandwich, so you shouldn’t be handing a thousand-pound wild mammal in the water slices of bread,” Kiesman said.

“And you certainly shouldn’t be letting your little girl sit on the edge of the dock with her dress hanging down after the sea lion has already snapped at her once. Just totally reckless behaviour.”

Whoever is at fault, one thing’s for sure — we’re not going to take sea lions lightly from now on.