Sea Lion Attacks Teen Playing in the Ocean

By Inside Edition Staff
Copyright (c) 2018 CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.

An aggressive sea lion in California attacked a 13-year-old playing in the ocean.

Video shows the sea lion coming out of nowhere and charging at the girl as she frolicked in knee-deep water at Pismo Beach Friday. 

The sea lion tore a deep chunk out of the girl's leg.

“I remember feeling it on my leg and absolutely freaking out,” Megan Pagnini told Inside Edition. “It was probably the scariest thing ever.”

She added: "All I remember is just, like, falling and it finally letting go and running as fast back to shore and just where my friends were and screaming and crying."

Sea lions appear to be playful and friendly creatures, but they're large and unpredictable in the wild. Experts say it's easy to underestimate their strength, speed and bite.

Jeff Cozad, executive director at the Marine Mammal Care Center in Los Angeles, spoke to Inside Edition about the sea lion attack. 

He said it's possible the sea lion in Pismo Beach is suffering from domoic acid poisoning, which can make them aggressive. 

“If you see a seal of sea lion, you should get away from it,” he advised. “They do bite.” 

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