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Posted: May 25, 2017

Girl pulled into water by sea lion treated for rare bacterial disease


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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 21: A sea lion is seen having a meal at Taronga Zoo on December 21, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. Taronga's resident Meerkats, Lemurs and Sea Lions were given special Christmas-themed enrichment treats, designed to encourage their natural skills. (Photo by Don Arnold/WireImage)

By Chelsea Todaro, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

VANCOUVER, British Columbia —

A girl in Canada who was dragged into a harbor by a sea lion is undergoing treatment for a rare bacterial infection, officials at the Vancouver Aquarium said.

The incident went viral on YouTube, showing a sea lion grabbing a girl’s dress as she sat on the edge of the harbor and then pulling her into the ocean. The YouTube video has already received more than 24 million views since it was posted on Saturday. 

The girl was rescued quickly by a man who jumped in to help her.

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Aquarium officials said the girl could be at risk for contracting a rare infection called “seal finger,” ABC News reported.

The infection is caused by a mycoplasma bacteria that lives in the mouths of sea mammals. Bacteria can get into a person’s body by a cut in the skin and can lead to loss of fingers and limbs if it is untreated, ABC News reported

An aquarium spokeswoman told ABC News that the disease “can be painful and debilitating.” 

“She did get a superficial wound, and she's going to get the right treatment,” the spokeswoman told ABC News. 

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