Video: Girl bitten by dolphin at SeaWorld

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An eight-year-old girl was bitten by a dolphin while she was feeding them at SeaWorld in Florida.

The dolphin almost pulled her into the water, and she was left with three puncture wounds.

Jillian Thomas was feeding the dolphins along with her five-year-old brother and other children at SeaWorld Orlando's Dolphin Cove.

Guests who pay $7 to feed the dolphins pieces of fish are warned not to wear loose jewellery, not to touch the dolphins' heads and on no circumstances to move the tray holding the fish away from the side of the pool.

Unfortunately Jillian picked up the tray to indicate that she had finished — and a dolphin leapt out of the water and grabbed it, along with her hand. It pulled her towards the eater, but then let go.   

Her father, Jamie, captured the incident on video (see below) and later posted it online as a warning to other parents.

Jillian's mother, Amy, said: " made a mistake but you can't hold a minor responsible for that.

"I am such an overprotective parent that if I knew my child might get bitten, I would not have even let my daughter do this. But I felt safe. Everyone just imagines dolphins as smiling, non-biting animals with knobby teeth. You forget these are wild animals."

Jamie Thomas said he and his wife were unhappy about the way SeaWorld staff seemed to downplay the incident. Instead of a manager coming to talk to them, they were just given ice and a bandage, they said.

"At the time, we thought we were at fault but these are children. We just want other parents to know the dangers."

The family isn't intending to take any legal action against SeaWorld, but say they would like to see the minimum age for children taking part in the attraction raised.

You can see a video of the incident in the news report below.

 

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