Did a seal assault a triathlete off Malibu? Video captures encounter with animal

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A 22-year-old Portuguese triathlete coaching for an upcoming race off Malibu this week was bitten by an animal believed to be a seal, race organizers mentioned.

The athlete, Vasco Vilaca, was not critically injured within the encounter off Zuma Seaside, in response to a submit Friday by Tremendous League Triathlon.

The incident occurred late morning on Thursday, in response to the triathlon.

“So the injuries will not be too dangerous,” Vilaca mentioned in a video posted by race organizers. “It bit my arm. Fortunately I had the wetsuit and it sort of protected me fairly effectively, simply one of many tooth that really punctured by means of the wetsuit.”

Vilaca mentioned he additionally acquired cuts on his hand whereas grabbing the animal’s mouth to attempt to pry himself unfastened after it wouldn’t let go.

At first, he mentioned, he observed the animal transferring towards him however wasn’t certain what to do.

“It sort of felt like a canine smelling me and I sort of simply tried to slowly, with out doing something aggressive, like push it slowly away,” Vilaca mentioned.

In some unspecified time in the future a wave pushed the animal towards him, Vilaca mentioned, so he pushed the animal away extra aggressively, which he believes scared the creature and prompted it to chew.

“You don’t take into consideration dying,” Vilaca mentioned. “I used to be extra serious about surviving. When it bit me I used to be extra like … how do I get out of this example?”

Vilaca was in a position to transfer away and get again to the seaside with out additional severe incident.

He’s scheduled to race in Tremendous League Triathlon Malibu at 1 p.m. Saturday at Zuma Seaside, in response to race organizers.

Although the animal is believed to be a seal, the precise species couldn’t be verified.

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