Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Seaworld Dophin Bites Girl

8-Year Old Girl Bitten By Dolphin At Orlando Attraction

ORLANDO, FL. -- SeaWorld Orlando was the site of a November 21 dolphin bite incident causing many to wonder how such things could happen. The Animal Rights group PETA has asked the government for an investigation.

Jamie and Amy Thomas, of Alpharetta, Georgia and their 8-year old daughter were at the popular Central Florida tourist attraction when  Jillian Thomas was bitten while feeding a dolphin from a tray of fish.  

Reportedly, the visitors were told by SeaWorld Orlando not to pick up the paper tray to feed the normally well-mannered mammals.

The dolphin jumped out of the water, grabbing the paper tray from the girl's hand leaving dolphin teeth puncture wounds in her left hand.

The parent have posted a video of the incident on YouTube on December 1, alleging some fault of SeaWorld, with a warning at the end of the one minute and 17 second video saying, "Thank God it didn't pull her in the water. It's only a matter of time before someone gets seriously injured at this attraction."

Mrs. Thomas told the Orlando Sentinel she thought she would have to jump in the water to save her daughter, thinking the 8-year old would be pulled into the attraction's "Dolphin Cove" tank. She said, "Everyone just imagines dolphins as smiling, non-biting animals with knobby teeth."

The girl was treated  for three puncture wounds by medical personnel at the attraction.

The animal right's group PETA sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture asking the agency to investigate the incident and hold SeaWorld accountable for endangering both the dolphin and the public in violation of the federal Animal Welfare Act.

"This isn't the first time that a captive dolphin at SeaWorld has bitten and injured a child, and there is no reason to believe that it will be the last," says general counsel to PETA Jeff Kerr. "Allowing deprived and frustrated wild animals to have direct contact with children in order to make a buck is asking for disaster—and PETA believes that it's against federal law."

PETA says SeaWorld has "a long history of injuries and deaths from dangerous interactions between trainers and marine mammals, including more than 100 incidents of orca aggression in its own records."

In the wild, dolphins can swim at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour and travel as far as 100 miles in a day. But at SeaWorld, says PETA "these highly intelligent social animals are confined to tiny, barren concrete tanks and forced to beg for dead fish—a physically and psychologically destructive environment that inevitably leads the animals to act out."

Photo credit: YouTube/jlthomasjr

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