Girl Pulled in Water By Sea Lion Receiving Treatment of Superficial Wound for Risk of Hazardous Infection

After a small girl was pulled into the water at Steveston Fisherman’s Wharf in Richmond, British Columbia, the Vancouver Aquarium urged the girl’s family to contact them for help because she was at risk of a hazardous infection known as “seal finger. The girl’s parents brought her in for treatment. Vancouver Aquarium spokeswoman Deana Lancaster reported she received a superficial wound and she’s going to get the right treatment.

A bite from a seal or a sea lion is different from a land animal because the animal’s mouth carries a host of bacteria uncommon to land mammals. It is important to note that some land animals also have bites that can cause infections, but a bite from a Sea Lion can cause “Seal finger” which is caused by bacteria called Mycoplasma phocacerebrale. An infection with Mycoplasma phocacerebrale can cause cellulitis, debilitating joint inflammation, and edema of the bone marrow. If untreated, the joint inflammation can cause a thickened contracted joint. An Alaska Native hunter/harvester of seals contracted a case of disseminated seal finger mycoplasmosis, according to a report in Clinical Infectious Diseases (Oxford Academic). A disseminated disease involves an infection that extends beyond its original infection site — often via the bloodstream. The Alaskan seal harvester suffered a fever, swollen finger, and septic hips (infectious arthritis of the hip). A mycoplasma species of bacteria was found in a tissue sample taken from the patient’s hip.

Bites and exposures to sea lions must be treated promptly with tetracycline antibiotics.

Dramatic video from Richmond, British Columbia, shows a sea lion grabbing a young girl off the pier and underwater Saturday as her family watched in horror and one man jumped in to rescue her.

A sea lion attacked a young girl on Saturday May 20, 2017 at Steveston Fisherman’s Wharf in Richmond, British Columbia. It appeared that people may have been feeding the sea lions prior to the tack.

A video captured the dangerous incident.

In the video, a sea lion approaches a young girl and then retreats to the water at Steveston Fisherman’s Wharf in Richmond, British Columbia. The girl then sits down with her back toward the water, and the sea lion takes a bite at her clothing and pulls her into the water. A man immediately jumps in the water for her rescue and retrieves her from the water.

The girl was not seriously injured. The man who rescued her was also not injured.

Original Video: Watch as a sea lion drags a young girl into the waters at the Steveston Fisherman’s Wharf, Richmond B.C. Canada.

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