SeaWorld is being harshly criticized by a family whose 8-year-old girl was bitten by a dolphin at the park, whilst she was feeding him. Video of the accident has been posted online (see it above), with the family saying SeaWorld protocols could stand much improvement.
The Thomas family is saying that the girl was bitten as she accidentally lifted the paper plate, and the dolphin jumped out of the water to take it. In the process, the dolphin also took the girl’s hand in his mouth.
While both mother and father are now saying the park needs to change its rules to better inform visitors of the dangers inherent to feeding dolphins, SeaWorld is saying all precautions were, in fact, taken.
“A member of our health services team was in the area at Dolphin Cove and quickly responded and treated the young girl,” SeaWorld says in a statement, partly in response to claims from the family that they weren’t even provided with a Band-aid, let alone on the scene assistance after the accident.
“Our guests are given clear instructions on how to feed the dolphins in an appropriate and safe way. Unfortunately, there are times when instructions are not followed,” SeaWorld adds.
Perhaps more tellingly, the park insists the family contacted no one to report the injuries were so severe. At the same time, the Thomas family is saying that they only posted the video online because they had gotten zero attention at the park.