ATTACK IN THE WATER
Woman attacked by sea lion in Australia after it bit into her leg leaving her with £2,000 medical billby Mark Hodge
A YOUNG woman was left with a £2,000 medical bill after she was bitten by an angry SEA LION.
Elena Precillia, 25, was swimming at Seals' Rocks, in Geraldton, Western Australia, with a raft of sea lions when one lunged for the bottom of her leg.
Shocking pictures show the horrifying puncture wounds on the French-born pastry chef's leg which left her needing 20 stitches.
After being told by locals that the sea lions were friendly, Elena decided to explore with her friend Mauro Signoretti.
Yet as the travellers returned the next day for a third swim with the animals, the chef was savagely attacked by one of the beasts.
She was left needing an operation and a course of antibiotics to prevent infection from the sea lion's bacteria.
SAVAGED IN THE SEA
Elena, who is currently travelling through Western Australia, said: "All I saw was a sea lion in front of me and when I turned my back, he bit me.
"Locals had told us that the sea lions were friendly, and that many went there without a tour guide or anything like that.
"It was an amazing experience, as they liked to dance with us, playing and jumping out of the water.
Describing the attack, Elena said: "It was on the back of my right leg, and straight away I could see he had drawn blood.
"The pain was shock - I couldn't really feel thanks to the adrenaline, but I couldn't swim to get out of the water.
"I was in panic, unable to breath well and was terrified as there were still four or five of the sea lions around us.
"My friend, Mauro had to get me back to shore as I was panicking."
Elena's friend Mauro had to swim out and rescue her before she was rushed to the nearby Geraldton Regional Hospital.
The chef underwent an operation to clean her leg and make sure it dried well.
There was a high risk of infection due to the sea lion's rare bacteria, and Elena had to spend roughly £2000, with the price set to continue rising.
Following the attack, Elena said: "I'll definitely never go back to swim with sea lions and I will never recommend to someone to do it.
"They are still wild animals, and in such close proximity, we never know what can happen."