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Video capturing fishermen's attempt to bait wild sea lion raises concerns: 'And this is what happens when you feed wildlife'

It's an amusing scene, but it's a troubling one, too.

It's an amusing scene, but it's a troubling one, too.

Photo Credit: Reddit

Seeing a sea lion in the wild while on a fishing trip is an incredible experience that few will have the fortune to experience. But just seeing it should be the limit. Trying to feed it is not a sensible move. 

That's what one group learned while out on the open water. Video footage posted to the r/Whatcouldgowrong subreddit shows the creature approaching the moving vessel, with the passengers thrilled to see the animal in its natural habitat.

One fisherman then grabbed a fish and dangled it over the side of the boat. Unsurprisingly, the sea lion leaped out of the water and gobbled it up just as the man released the tasty treat.

It's an amusing scene, but it's a troubling one, too.
Photo Credit: Reddit

But the story didn't end there. Sensing more food was nearby, the animal launched itself up and landed on the edge of the boat, where it found the store of catches the fisherman had set aside in a small tank. 

It's an amusing scene, but it's a troubling one, too. First of all, the fisherman put himself and the rest of the crew in danger. Sea lions typically eat fish and krill, but they have been known to attack penguins, so a sea lion striking a human if it feels threatened is not out of the question.

Indeed, a sea lion bit a young boy who was swimming off the coast of California in 2023. Experts determined the sea lion's behavior may have been affected by toxic algal blooms

However, what's most concerning here is the crew's reaction to the unexpected dinner guest. The footage showed one person prodding the animal with a stick, while another used some rope to whip the creature while trying to get it to leave the boat. 

Seeing animals out in the wild should be a privilege, and it should not be a surprise when a creature uses its natural instincts to your detriment. Putting yourself in that position is the fault of one party and one party only. 

It's not just at sea where unfortunate animal interactions occur. At national parks all over the United States, there are multiple examples of visitors thinking the wildlife is there to be approached, only to swiftly regret those decisions.

In national parks, animals can be found and euthanized if they come into close contact with humans, for fear they will act aggressively with other people. 

If animals are fed by humans, they will become habituated and likely come close to others to try to score more food. This is when things can turn nasty. 

As one Redditor noted, they are often followed by sea lions when out on the water. 

"This is why they chase all the fishing boats, they're picking up on it," they said. "Everytime I go deep sea fishing there is at least one seal tailing the boat trying to snatch up my catch as I reel it in."

Meanwhile, other viewers of the sea lion encounter were not impressed with what they witnessed.

"And this is what happens when you feed wildlife," one user said. "Congratulations."

"Someone didn't read the book 'If You Give A Mouse A Cookie,'" another added.

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