An 8-year-old girl was recently bitten by a dolphin at SeaWorld. WKMG-TV reports that the girl was visiting SeaWorld the day before Thanksgiving when she was allowed to feed fish to the dolphins.
The girl’s parents were recording her as she became momentarily distracted while holding an empty fish tray. The impatient dolphin she was feeding then lunged forward and snatched the tray from the girl’s hand, biting her in the process.
Video of the animal bite quickly went viral after being uploaded to YouTube and was covered on national media outlets such as CNN and USA Today.
“We believe that attraction is dangerous,” the girl’s father said. “And it was traumatic for us to go through that event.”
SeaWorld says that its exhibit is safe and told reporters in a statement that it takes guest safety very seriously.
“Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our guests, employees and animals,” a SeaWorld spokesperson said “Educators and animal care staff are always on-site at this area monitoring all interactions and are committed to guest safety.”
SeaWorld does tell guests not to pick up the fish trays to avoid similar incidents. The parents say that did receive warnings but that their daughter momentarily forgot due to her age. The girl suffered puncture wounds to her hands and minor bleeding.