This heartwarming video shows the moment a seven-year-old boy with Asperger's is brought out of his shell by a curious sea lion at a zoo.
Alex Bittner sometimes has trouble interacting with children his own age, but he found a new friend at the National Zoo in Washington DC.
As Alex ran back and forth across the glass of the enclosure, Sophie the sea lion followed his every move, even stopping in the water when Alex stood still.
It was filmed by Alex's mum, Jennifer Bittner. The boy slowly walked alongside the enclosure with the sea lion following him, causing the seven-year-old to call out: "He likes me."
Sophie then follows the boy's every move, much to Alex's delight.
Jennifer said: "It was amazing to witness the connection that the beautiful creature and my son seemed to share.
"He sometimes has trouble interacting and playing with children his own age, but he and the Sea Lion seemed perfectly in sync."
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