We hope she’ll be okay!
The little Canadian girl who was dragged into the water by a sea lion in Richmond, British Columbia recently may have contracted a rare disease.
Staff at Vancouver Aquarium told the Lau family that the girl may be at risk of a condition known as seal finger. Apparently, sea lions carry bacteria called mycoplasma phocacerebrale. If a human is bitten, he or she may develop an antibiotic-resistant infection, which can lead to amputation of fingers or hands.
Vancouver Aquarium spokesperson Deana Lancaster told ABC News:
“If any member of our animal care team receives a bite from a sea or sea lion, they take a letter from our vet with them to the hospital, which explains that the infection is resistant to some antibiotics. The family saw the media reports and got in touch with us. She did get a superficial wound, and she’s going to get the right treatment.”
The family has received backlash for allegedly feeding breadcrumbs to the sea lion, which they have denied. They are also reportedly considering legal action against the student who filmed the incident for “insinuating they were the ones feeding the sea lion.”
Professionals have also been critical of the family, with UBC‘s Marine Mammal Research Unit director Andrew Trites saying:
“My first reaction to the video is just how stupid some people can be to not treat wildlife with proper respect. They are huge animals. They are not circus performers. They’re not trained to be next to people.”
Regardless of any fault, we hope the little girl receives swift and proper treatment.