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Vancouver family behind Steveston sea lion incident contemplates legal action

Late night host Stephen Colbert sinks his teeth into viral sea lion attack video
sea lion
A video of a sea lion pulling a young girl into the water in Steveston has attracted millions of viewers and the attention of late-night talk show host Stephen Colbert.

The sea lion seen across the world may now be the centre of a lawsuit.

The Vancouver family at the centre of Saturday’s viral video reportedly told CBC radio Wednesday morning that legal action may be taken against the person who filmed the incident.

According to the Richmond News, the man who filmed the video is Vancouver resident Michael Fujiwara. He has been identified as a student at either Simon Fraser University or the University of B.C.

Saturday’s incident saw a male seal lion twice lunge towards a young girl at the Steveston Fisherman's Wharf. She was dragged into the water and almost instantly pulled to safety by an individual identified as the young girl’s grandfather.

The family has gone on the defensive in recent days, suggesting the animal was not being fed. Social media commentary around the incident has been largely scathing, particularly after roughly 100 people convened at the same docks within 48 hours to see the marine animal in question.

The CBC report suggests parents and kids alike were openly leaning over the docks to get a glimpse of the animal, which is reported to weigh somewhere north of 200 kilograms. Signage in the area has since gone up, suggesting that disturbing marine wildlife could carry up to a $100,000 fine.

Since it was first posted to YouTube Saturday, the video has received about 20 million views and received coverage across major North American news outlets.

The video also caught the attention of late-night talk show host Stephen Colbert who played a clip of the video during his monologue, saying, “If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, we have to stop selling herring-scented children’s rompers.” He then went on to praise “action grandpa” for his quick-thinking and bravery while others just held up their cellphones and recorded the incident while yelling “Oh my god!”

The sea lion segment occurs at 2:25 of the video.