A disturbing video has surfaced on YouTube of a dog locking its jaws on a beached baby sea lion as California beachgoers frantically try to free the trapped mammal.
The dog, which Laguna Beach police said was an American bulldog mix, belonged to the daughter of astronaut Mark Kelly, husband of former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, local media reported. Giffords, Kelly and his daughter -- Giffords' stepdaughter -- were vacationing in Laguna Beach on Saturday when the incident happened, reported The Los Angeles Times.
Laguna Beach police received a call at 2 p.m. on Saturday and arrived at the shoreline to find the dog had freed itself from its 18-year-old owner and attacked a beached sea lion on a public beach, Capt. Jason Kravetz said in an email to The Los Angeles Times.
In the YouTube video (warning: graphic video and language), three women attempt to pull a small, limp sea lion from the mouth of a dog who refuses to let go. Cries of "No!" No!" are heard as the dog shakes the beached sea lion in his mouth. Offscreen, someone yells, "Take him out there and drown the dog. He'll let go," to which one of the women yells back, "No, what the f---?"
After a couple of minutes of struggling, Mark Kelly appears in the shot, according to the man who recorded the incident.
The man who shot the video and posted it online only identified himself by his first name, Nathan.
"Mark Kelly came over and picked the dog up by the collar, shook it, called the dog out by name, and that's when the dog released. Mark Kelly was able to walk the dog back to the parking lot," Nathan told KPNX, an NBC affiliate in Phoenix, where Giffords and Kelly live.
A pool of blood from the sea lion is left on the shoreline as Kelly and the dog walk off. The sea lion, which isn't moving by that point, later died, according to The Los Angeles Times. It was removed from the area where it had beached itself, which may have been an indication that it was sick before the brutal encounter.
The dog lives with Giffords' stepdaughter in Houston, according to the paper. No citations were issued because "it was legal for her to have the dog on the beach this time of year, and she did have it leashed. It was so strong that it pulled free of her when it saw the [sea lion]," Kravetz told The L.A. Times.