A dolphin bit an 8-year-old girl at Sea World this past weekend, grabbing the small child by the arm and dragging her into the water. Jillian Thomas’ mom took her to see the dolphins, which she calls her daughter’s favorite animal.
Jillian was feeding one of the dolphins at Dolphin Cove when the incident occurred.
The 8-year-old girl was visiting the dolphins for the second time of that day when she lifted a small plate of dolphin food into the area after becoming over excited. Park officials warn guests to keep food out of reach and to avoid lifting plates of food into the air near the dolphins.
Excited to grab an entire plate of food, the dolphin grabbed Jillian’s arm and dragged her into the water.
The dolphin bites on the 8-year-old girl were not life threatening, but she was left with dime-sized teeth marks on her arm.
According to the little girl’s parents, Sea World employees “trivialized the attack.”
In a statement following the dolphin attack, Sea World employees said:
“Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our guests, employees and animals. Educators and animal care staff were at the attraction when this happened and immediately connected with the family.”
While the family was furious over the attack, they say there are no plans to sue Sea World. Jillian’s mom and dad have requested that Sea World increase its age limit for Dolphin feedings.
Do you think Sea World is to blame, or should Jillian’s parents have been doing a better job parenting their 8-year-old child near potentially dangerous animals?