‘Thank you for this’: Lifeguard praised for telling girl to leave San Diego beach after bothering sea lions

A lifeguard has been praised by social media users after telling a girl to leave a San Diego beach after she was spotted throwing sand and rocks at a sea lion on numerous occasions.

The sounds of loudspeakers could be heard in La Jolla Cove on the coast of Southern California as a lifeguard said, “little girl in the purple, you can leave now, thanks”.

The incident was shared on TikTok by user raspberryblush_.

The child was seen throwing sand and rocks at a seemingly sleeping sea lion. The incident took place on 26 February, according to CBS8.

The video has been viewed more than 2.2 million times so far. It shows the girl with a woman who seemed to be her mother watching the sleeping sea lion. Other beachgoers were also in the area near the sea lion.

The woman who filmed the video said that “the mom looked shocked because they finally said something,” according to CBS8.

In July of last year, after two sea lions appeared in a viral video to be chasing each other and tourists at the same cove, Robyn Davidoff, the chair of the Sierra Club Seal Society, told the local TV station that “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”.

Ms Davidoff said they may bite if they feel threatened.

The Sea Lion viewing guidelines from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration states that “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”.

Mónica Muñoz of the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department said that lifeguards will make announcements if visitors get too close or otherwise bother the sea lions, according to CBS8.

The lifeguard was commended on social media for telling the girl to leave.

“Lifeguards thank u for this,” the poster of the video said.

“Normalize kicking out children when they misbehave,” a TikTok user commented.

“No because I need to know that she cried,” another added.

“The fact the mom was watching her the whole time boils my blood,” a third said.

“The mom was even worse to watch tbh,” the video poster responded.

“People are so disrespectful towards sea life! Wish they would’ve been there while I was there to check them,” one user added in the comment section.