SeaWorld defends protocol, actions after dolphin bites girl

(CNN) — SeaWorld defended itself Sunday from criticism from a family after a dolphin bit their 8-year-old daughter at the Orlando attraction.

A video posted online shows the girl standing along the edge of a pool, one of several people feeding dolphins. After she picks up a paper plate that once held the marine mammal’s food, a dolphin lunges at her and bites her hand.

The dolphin let go after a few seconds, but not before leaving three puncture wounds on the girl’s hand.

In a statement, SeaWorld spokeswoman Becca Bides said on-site “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 and quickly responded and treated the young girl.”

Yet in an interview with CNN Atlanta affiliate WSB, the family at the center of the November 21 incident faulted the central Florida attraction’s staff for not warning them the dolphins might bite and for their response after the girl was injured.

“We felt powerless,” the girl’s father, Jamie Thomas, said in explaining their decision to post a video on YouTube. “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.”

The 8-year-old, Jillian Thomas, said she “accidentally held” up the paper plate, after which the dolphin “jumped up and ate the carton and bit my hand.”

“I was thinking it was going to haul me into the water,” she said. “And this is a little crazy, but I thought it was … going to eat my hand off.”

Jamie Thomas said those feeding the dolphins were told the paper plate should stay on the wall, “but we really didn’t know why.” No one signed a disclaimer, and there were no signs indicating any risk, the father said.

The girl’s mother, Amy Thomas, said she was upset about SeaWorld staffers’ response.

“They did not tell us to look out for any signs of infection,” the mother said. “We had to ask for Band-Aids.”

The Thomas family never contacted SeaWorld after leaving the park, Bides said.

She defended the attraction and its protocol, including “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,” Bides said. “… Unfortunately, there are times when instructions are not followed.”

2 comments

  • Google

    Adsense is actually a really great program for those who maintain blogs, as blogs
    get updated all the time and the Adsense possibilities are almost limitless.
    These pre-computed numbers, hold on in a very giant information bank for millions or URLs on the net.
    And then on March 20, the world’s largest paid
    private blog network – BMR – announced that its vast network
    had been almost entirely de-indexed by Google,
    causing chaos in the internet marketing industries.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s