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Girl dragged into the water by the sea lion being treated for ‘seal finger’

The girl was pulled into the water by a sea lion in Vancouver at the weekend, is receiving medical treatment to stave off any bacterial infection that may have infiltrated her system through a cut in her finger. The family, which has not yet been identified, contacted the Vancouver aquarium for help after hearing of marine experts speak of “seal finger” during the interviews with the media.

“The family saw the media reports and came in contact with us,” Deana Lancaster, the aquarium spokesperson, told ABC News. “She received a superficial wound, and she comes to the right treatment.”

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Seal finger is caused by different species of Mycoplasma bacteria in the mouth of the marine mammals. If left untreated, the infection could turn serious, and even lead to a loss of fingers or limbs.

“As a member of our animal care team receives a bite from a seal or sea lion, take with them a letter from our vet with them to the hospital, explaining that the infection is resistant to some antibiotics,” Lancaster told ABC News.

It is not clear what treatment the girl received, but, according to the report, antibiotics such as tetracycline can be used on patients.

The dramatic incident was caught on camera by a student are recorded on his mobile phone. Michael Fujiwara told the Vancouver Sun that the sea lion had attracted the attention of the tourists in the area, and that the girl and her family were feeding the animal before he grabbed her and brought her into the water.

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A member of the family dove in after her.

A marine mammal expert at the University of British Columbia, said the family took a risk when they are close to the animal.

“This was a male Californian sea lion,” Andrew Trites told the CBC. “They are not circus performers. They are not trained to, in addition to the people.”

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