SAN DIEGO — A child was asked to leave La Jolla Cove after she was repeatedly observed throwing sand and rocks at a sea lion.
"Little girl in the purple, you can leave now, thanks," a lifeguard said over loudspeakers at La Jolla Cove in San Diego on February 26.
A sea lion was gathered around by beachgoers when a child was observed by witnesses throwing sand and rocks at a sea lion that appeared to be sleeping.
"The little girl had thrown rocks/sand like two more times before this announcement," said Tiktoker, who goes by username "raspberryblush_."
Video with more than 2.2 million views on TikTok showed a little girl in purple with a woman who appeared to be her mother watching a sleeping sea lion. Several other beachgoers also surrounded the marine life as it slumbered.
A lifeguard on duty observed the child throwing items at the sleeping sea lion and asked her to leave over a loudspeaker.
"The mom looked shocked because they finally said something," said the woman who captured the interaction on video.
"They don’t realize they should keep a distance from them. They are wild animals. They are a little bit used to us, but they still are wild, and this time of the year, when they’re talking about mating, thinking about mating, they get a little frisky; people have to get out of the way," said Robyn Davidoff, chair of the Sierra Club Seal Society.
CBS 8 spoke with Davidoff when two sea lions appeared to chase each other and tourists in 2021 in the same La Jolla location.
If threatened, Davidoff said, they may bite.
"For seals and sea lions in the water or on shore, remain at least 50 yards away—about 1/2 a football field. This includes people and pets," according to the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
San Diego lifeguards will make announcements if people get too close or bother sea lions, Mónica Muñoz with San Diego Fire-Rescue Department said.
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