Sea Lion Jumps on Boat for Snack of Fish in Viral Clip: 'Homie Just Vibin''

A viral video of a sea lion that jumped onto a boat and was fed fish by people has divided the internet over the behavior toward the wild animal.

The TikTok video recounting the event, captioned, "#viral #sealion #sea #crazy," has been viewed 1.4 million times and liked over 159,000 times since it was shared on March 12.

TikToker @grady_bierman, or Grayde, shared the 55-second clip of themselves aboard a boat on the open water. A seal could be seen peering out from the sea, and it suddenly jumps up onto the boat after a person throws a fish onto the floorboard.

It's illegal to feed as well as harass marine mammals, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries. This includes sea lions, dolphins, porpoises, seals, whales and manatees. The Marine Mammal Protection Act prohibits the feeding and attempting to feed, as well as the harassment of marine mammals while in the wild.

"One of the most fun moments I've had," the onscreen text in the TikTok reads.

Some people onboard scream as the sea lion eats the fish. "Oh my God," a woman can be heard saying. The mammal gets closer inside the boat toward a woman with fish, then she throws another one into the air and the sea lion catches and eats it.

"Are you kidding me?" a man says as the woman goes looking for more fish to give to the sea lion. Another fish is tossed to the sea lion as a man touches the mammal's back, but the fish falls from the seal lion's mouth.

Another person throws a fish toward the mammal and misses, its eyes seem to be closed at the time as well. "I don't think he can see very well," a woman says.

A pelican flies through the air nearby, and the woman throws a fish to it, which lands in the water before the bird catches it.

Sea lion under the water
A sea lion jumped on a boat for a snack of fish in a viral TikTok. Here, a sea lion under the water. PKPHOTOSCOM/GETTY

Meanwhile, the sea lion moves around, eventually opting to slide back into the ocean. However, a man touches the sea lion one more time before it departs.

In a response to another comment, the TikToker added some clarity: "We don't go on boats a ton because I get so seasick, and we didn't know it was illegal."

Over 1,300 comments came in response to the clip, and viewers had varying opinions on the group's actions toward the marine mammal.

Many TikTokers seemed to appreciate the content. "Homie just vibin'," a viewer said about the sea lion.

Other comments included things like, "Sea puppy just trying to hang," and "Give him a beer, he's part of the gang now."

Some people were impressed by the situation. "I would talk about this once a week for the rest of my life," a user revealed.

One viewer thinks the sea lion reacted to its surroundings. "Dude was prolly overwhelmed from all the screaming," they said.

Some wondered about the sea lion's eyes. "I think the wind was too much for his eyes Lol," a TikToker suggested. "So he just closed 'em after a minute."

While others were worried about the mammal getting caught in the propeller. "I can't believe you kept the motor on," a TikToker pointed out. "Motor injuries for seals, whales, and other animals are so harmful and unfortunately common."

Not everyone thought the way the people dealt with the unexpected guest was acceptable. "How about we respect marine mammals from a distance and don't violate the Marine Mammal Protection Act?" a viewer suggested. "This is embarrassing."

Another TikToker wondered why people can't "stop treating animals this way," adding, "It's like y'all don't even care how your actions affect them."

Some didn't think the situation would lead to anything good in the future. "This is going to teach the animal to do this, and it's going to end up getting hurt," a viewer pointed out.

Newsweek reached out to @grady_bierman for comment.