Dolphin Bites Girl at SeaWorld, Parents Call for Changes (VIDEO)

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By Sami K. Martin , Christian Post Reporter
December 3, 2012|8:21 am

A dolphin is under suspicion after biting an 8-year-old girl on Sunday. The girl and her family were visiting Sea World when the dolphin bit the young girl's hand; the family caught the entire ordeal on video and hopes to raise awareness for others.

"We felt powerless," Jamie Thomas, father of the victim, told CNN. "We thought, look, we've got this video. Let's make it public and let's try to put some pressure on SeaWorld to make some changes."

Those changes include warning guests that the normally friendly mammals might bite those interacting with them. Thomas stated that a paper plate is what set the dolphin off and caused it to attack. He explained that trainers told those interacting with the dolphins that paper plates should stay on the nearby wall, "but we really didn't know why."

Jillian Thomas, the victim, said she "accidentally held" the paper plate and the dolphin "jumped up and ate the carton and bit my hand. I was thinking it was going to haul me into the water. And this is a little crazy," she added," but I thought it was going to eat my hand off."

SeaWorld spokeswoman Becca Bides assured the public that "educators and animal care staff … immediately connected with the family. In addition, a member of our health services team was in the area at Dolphin Cove are quickly responded and treated the young girl."

That's not the same story that the Thomas family is telling, though.

"They did not tell us to look out for any signs of infection. We had to ask for Band-Aids," mother Amy Thomas said.

Bides, however, told CNN that there are "specific instructions to not pick up the paper trays at any time. Our guests are given clear instructions on how to feed the dolphins in an appropriate and safe way. Unfortunately, there are times when instructions are not followed."

The Thomas family has said it has no plans to sue SeaWorld but would like to see changes in the way the site handles accidents and would like to see an increase in the age limit for children allowed to feed animals.

Watch the incident here:

 

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