Woman 'Kicks' Sea Lion Into Pod of Hungry Orcas in Viral Video, Divides Internet

A viral video that shows a woman "kick" a sea lion off of her boat into a pod of hungry orca whales has sparked an online debate. Some said the woman was wrong for not driving the seal lion to safety. Others argued that she did the right thing by forcing the animal back into the water.

The video was first posted to TikTok by user @nutabull last week but has since been deleted. Many online, however, managed to record and repost the video before it was taken down.

Twitter user @castrowas95 reposted the video on Saturday, with the comment: "I would've s**t my pants." So far, the video has more than 3.5 million views.

"You have to go," the woman said at the beginning of the video. She shows a sea lion sitting on her boat as a pod of orca whales closes in.

"Oh my goodness, I don't know what to do," she said. "Where did you come from? I never even seen [sic] you out there."

The woman then looks down into the water and sees an orca inches away from her boat.

"I don't know what to do," the woman said to the sea lion, who looked at the orcas from the boat. "I didn't know you were there."

As the other orcas get closer, the woman begins to panic. It's obvious that the whales want the sea lion. She apologizes to the animal before saying, "You have to go, honey."

I would’ve shit my pants pic.twitter.com/eJa6GDyNkk

— Eye- (@castrowas95) September 25, 2021

In a follow-up tweet, the Twitter user shared the second part of the video, which has been the center of the viral debate.

"Correction: it's a seal lion and she did kick it off the boat," @castowas95 tweeted.

"You need to go," she said. "I know you're supper, honey — this is how the world works."

She then starts to plead with the sea lion, who eventually jumps off of the boat and into the whale-infested waters. Once the sea lion is gone, she starts the boat's engine and begins to slowly drive away.

I would’ve shit my pants pic.twitter.com/eJa6GDyNkk

— Eye- (@castrowas95) September 25, 2021

Many were upset with the woman, who, like @castrowas95, felt that she "kicked" the sea lion into the water.

"How evil you gotta be to try and send a sea lion to its death, especially when it's just sittin there lol," tweeted @BrownSkinGirl88.

How evil you gotta be to try and send a sea lion to its death, especially when its just sittin there lol

— Brown Skin Nerdy Girl (@BrownSkinGirl88) September 25, 2021

"Poor sea lion. He or she was terrified," commented @Natureguy17. "I still can't believe this humans [sic] didn't start the boat. I have seen videos before where people do actually helped them. This person just stood still like if she was also the prey. Hope the sea lion arrived to land safely.

"All she had to do was leave. She could have taken the little sea lion to safety = and herself," said @churchlady320."

But as many pointed out, some of the orcas were swimming directly beneath her boat. If she had turned on the engine, the propeller could have injured one of the whales.

According to NOAA Fisheries, there are an estimated 2,500 killer whales living in the eastern Northern Pacific Ocean. All killer whales are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act; however, the Southern Resident Distinct Population Segment and the AT1 Transient stock — both of which live in the Pacific Ocean — are considered endangered and protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Those who injure a protected animal could face fines and/or jail time. With this in mind, the woman could have been hesitant to start the boat, out of fear of hurting one of the whales and facing the potential legal consequences. In fact, she allegedly expressed this fear in the comments section of the original video.

A screenshot taken of the comments section and shared by @castrowas95 shows a TikToker telling the woman to "just start the boat Karen and go."

The woman responded: "I can't. Can you [imagine starting] in the boat and taking off and the propeller hits one of the 250 only orcas alive to the 2 million sea lions."

Of course, some were sympathetic to this and defended her actions.

"Some of y'all are trying way to hard to rationalize why you think she should have given up her life for an animal especially when they would have just ended up dead together," tweeted @Rainbowlion15. "If it's the sea lion or her she is in now way wrong or heartless for choosing herself."

Some of y'all are trying way to hard to rationalize why you think she should have given up her life for an animal especially when they would have just ended up dead together. If it's the sea lion or her she is in now way wrong or heartless for choosing herself.

— Rainbow🌟 (@Rainbowlion15) September 25, 2021

"I'm sorry but I'm not gonna disrupt the food chain before the food chain disrupts me," added @miyahbortion.

I’m sorry but I’m not gonna disrupt the food chain before the food chain disrupts me pic.twitter.com/AzDUugFseg

— ~ 𝖘𝖚𝖇𝖚𝖗𝖇𝖆𝖓 𝖙𝖍𝖚𝖌𝖜𝖎𝖋𝖊 ~ (@miyahbortion) September 25, 2021
seal lion
A viral video that shows a woman “kick” a sea lion off of her boat into a pod of hungry orca whales has sparked an online debate. RODRIGO BUENDIA / Contributor/Getty