Sea Lion and Dog Playing Together on Beach Spark Debate Online

Footage of a sea lion and a dog's unlikely friendship has gone viral on TikTok, sparking an online debate.

In the video, shared to the app by Lindsay Greenberg, known online as Linzybinzy120, we can see a Labrador dog wading out towards a sea lion in the ocean.

The adorable clip then cuts to the two animals sussing each other out on a California beach.

At one point the sea mammal waddles towards the dog, and the animal wags his tail and barks at his new friend.

Over the video, which can be viewed here, Greenberg can be heard saying: "When your son invites his new friend over."

The scene then cuts to the dog looking down on the sea lion from the balcony, as the marine animal larks about on the sand below his furry pal.

Greenberg captioned the footage, writing: "When you live on the beach they're still friends to this day #viral #dogsoftiktok #animalsdoingthings #comedy #foryou #vlog #beach #crazy #wow #fy."

The heartwarming clip has since been viewed a whopping 1.3 million times and surpassed 207,900 likes.

@linzybinzy120

When you live on the beach😂 they’re still friends to this day💙 #viral #dogsoftiktok #animalsdoingthings #comedy #foryou #vlog #beach #crazy #wow #fy

♬ Sunday Best - Surfaces

Many people rushed to the comments section to share their thoughts on the video, but a large proportion sought to criticize Greenberg's actions.

One person, Tom, wrote: "You do realize that we are supposed to leave them alone, they're an endangered animal and humans don't need to be messing with them because they are cute."

Another TikTok user, Natalie Parra, added: "Hey so just a heads up but this is actually very illegal and dangerous for both!"

CLC typed: "Please don't let your dog harass marine animals."

Although the Marine Mammal Protection Act makes it illegal to harass any marine mammal, speaking to Newsweek Greenberg explained that the situation was a unique circumstance.

She said: "I personally don't encourage anyone to approach wildlife and this specific incident was very unique and managed by the local wildlife shelter.

"No one should watch this and think they can go interact with wildlife, we were on private property and wildlife approached us so I did what I could think to do in that crazy scenario."

The California-based TikToker went on to reveal just how the moment happened: "We live on the beach there and I was out tanning with my dog laying next to me when the sea lion came up on shore!

"He [the sea lion] was definitely interested in my dog but my dog was keeping his distance at first because he was rightfully concerned what this thing was."

Greenberg then said that she sort expert advice and called the "local wildlife rescue who asked us to stay with it until someone could come out and check."

She added: "We told them there were pets in the neighborhood but one of my neighbors used to volunteer at the shelter so they said to just supervise and watch for any threats."

The dog was brought upstairs shortly after the short interaction with the sea lion, which happened as Greenberg backed away and watched her pet do the same.

The TikTok user then revealed that once she was safely upstairs the sea lion positioned himself on her deck "so he could make eyes at my dog."

Once the wildlife rescue came they managed to scare the sea lion off back into the water, but Greenberg believes that the sea mammal now visits them often.

She said that since the interaction "almost every day there is a sea lion that swims right in front of our house and stops to poke its head up and look for my dog now. Sometimes doing flips or playing in the water for us!

"Obviously I can't be positive it's the same sea lion but it definitely seems to be!"

A sea lion
A stock image of a Californian sea lion. In a TikTok video a similar animal can be seen interacting with a dog on a beach. Getty Images