A seal being chased by hungry killer whales managed to escape the attack by climbing onto a woman’s boat, who captured the incident on video.
The video, first posted to Tiktok by users @nutabull last week, showed a seal sitting on the boat that the woman was on, scared for its life, as the killer whales surrounded the boat. The account has since been deleted, but many social media users managed to save the video and repost it.
It was later reposted by Twitter users where it racked up millions of views since then.
“You have to go,” said the woman filming the video, showing the seal sitting on her boat as killer whales begin to close in.
“Oh my goodness, I don’t know what to do,” she said. “Where did you come from? I never seem [sic] out there.”
Correction: it’s a seal lion and she did kick it off the boat ☠️ pic.twitter.com/h9ZeNyUV8V— Eye- (@castrowas95) September 25, 2021
She then points the camera downwards towards the water where killer whales are seen just inches away from the boat she was standing on.
“I don’t know what to do,” she said again, as the seal looked at the killer whales circling the boat.
“I didn’t know you were there.”
The woman then begins to panic as the killer whales start swimming closer to the boat and apologizes to the seal saying, “you have to go, honey.”
Twitter user @castowas95, who posted the video on Twitter, tweeted a follow-up post, with the second part of the video, leading to a viral social media debate.
The tweet read: “Correction: it’s a seal lion and she did kick it off the boat.”
“You need to go,” said the woman in the video to the seal. “I know you’re supper, honey — this is how the world works.”
The seal then eventually jumps off the boat and into the water, according to media reports. The woman then started the boat’s engine and sailed away from the scene.
Many Twitter users were outraged by the way the woman dealt with the situation.
“How evil you gotta be to try and send a sea lion to its death, especially when it’s just sittin there lol,” said twitter user @BrownSkinGirl88.
“All she had to do was leave. She could have taken the little sea lion to safety = and herself,” said @churchlady320.”
Another user, @mediocremami tweeted: “I know there’s a possibility the whales could’ve gotten hurt if she started the boat, but I would’ve taken the sea lion to shore idc [I don’t care]. that guilt would eat me up knowing I potentially killed an animal, idgaf about no food chain.”
According to government authority on the science and management of fish, other marine life, and their habitats NOAA Fisheries, there are around 2,500 killer whales living in the eastern Northern Pacific Ocean.
All killer whales are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The Southern Resident Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of killer whales “are the only endangered population of killer whales in the United States, ranging from central California to southeast Alaska,” the NOAA Fisheries’ official website read.
Injuring endangered animals could result in hefty fines or jail time. The reason this debate has become so controversial is that the woman may have been hesitant to start the boat because it could have injured some of the killer whales, causing her to potentially face some legal consequences.