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Shakira survives close call with roaring South African sea lion

February 14, 2012 |  4:06 pm


Dear Shakira: "I decided to get a bit closer than all of the other tourists" is not something we want to see you writing on a postcard any time soon. Especially if you're getting closer to, oh, wild animals. Like sea lions.

Singer-dancer-philanthropist Shakira, 34, was attacked by a sea lion Sunday afternoon during a nature tour out of Cape Town, South Africa, and had to be rescued by her brother Tony, whom she says literally saved her life.

After seeing some seals and sea lions, the Colombian singer said on her Facebook page, "I thought to myself how cute they were so I decided to get a bit closer than all of the other tourists and went down to a rock trying to pet them doing a baby talk while taking pictures.... Suddenly, one of them jumped out of the water so fast and impetuously that it got about one foot away from me, looked me in the eye, roared in fury and tried to bite me."

(Maybe the critter was just a rabid fan? OK, that's not nice, especially since a male South African sea lion can weigh more than 600 pounds.)

"Everyone there screamed, including me. I was paralyzed by fear and couldn't move. I just kept eye contact with it while my brother 'Super Tony' jumped over me and literally saved my life, taking me away from the beast."

The "Hips Don't Lie" singer said she thought the animal mistook her BlackBerry for a fish, and believed she was teasing it. Brother and sister escaped with scratches on their hands and legs from clambering over the rocks.

While Shakira was recovering from South African sea lions, the Ministry found this video of a South Australian seal lion eating an octopus that decided to get, well, a bit closer than all of the other octopuses.

Dinner starts in earnest around the 2:30 mark. 


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— Christie D'Zurilla

Photo: Shakira in France on Jan. 28. Credit: Valery Hache / AFP/Getty Images