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An 8-year-old girl was bitten by a dolphin at SeaWorld Orlando last month. The incident was captured on tape by her parents, who say that park officials trivialized what was a very scary moment for them.
The Orlando Sentinel reported Saturday that Jillian Thomas, 8, made sure that her parents took her to the amusement park’s dolphin cove twice on Nov. 21. When she went to feed one of the dolphins, it lunged at her, biting her hand.
“The first thing I thought was I would have to jump in the water and save my daughter's life,” Jamie Thomas, her father, told the Sentinel. “I literally thought she was going to be pulled into the water.”
Jillian’s hand had three puncture wounds and became swollen.
According to The AP, SeaWorld has issued a statement, saying that they are committed to guests’ safety and that they had not seen the video.
“Educators and animal care staff were at the attraction when this happened and immediately connected with the family,” the statement to the Sentinel read.
Still, the Thomas family doesn’t think that the park did enough, although her mother, Amy Thomas, did say that someone did attend to her daughter right away.
“It was strange how they downplayed the whole thing,” Jillian’s father said. “At the time, we thought we were at fault but these are children. We just want other parents to know the dangers.”
This is hardly the first time someone has been bit by an animal at SeaWorld. Just this summer a 2006 video of a trainer nearly being killed by an orca at the San Diego park surfaced.
Two children were bit by dolphins at the Orlando park in 2006.