Dolphin bites girl at family theme park

Dolphin bites girl at Sea World OrlandoYou Tube


An eight-year-old girl was bitten by a dolphin at Sea World Orlando last week, while feeding it fish scraps at a Dolphin-fedding session.

Jillian Thomas was left with three puncture wounds and a swollen right hand after the incident, and her father feared that she was going to be dragged into the water.

Jillian's father, Jamie Thomas, captured the incident on video and has posted it online to warn other parents that these type of attractions might not be as safe as we assume.

He told the Orlando Sentinel: "The first thing I thought was I would have to jump in the water and save my daughter's life. I literally thought she was going to be pulled into the water."

Dolphin bites girl at Sea World OrlandoYou Tube


Jillian's mother, Amy Thomas, added: "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."

The Thomas family made two visits to the Dolphin Cove during their stay in Orlando, as dolphins are Jillian's favourite animal.

Guests are given instructions not to wear loose jewellery, touch the dolphin's head or move the paper tray holding the fish from the edge of the pool.

Jillian was bitten when she lifted up the empty paper tray to show that she had run out of fish.

Sea World officials said in a statement: "Nothing is more important to us that the health and safety of our guests, employees and animals. Educators and animal care staff were at the attraction when this happened and immediately connected with the family."

A first-aider treated Jillian's wounds, which are now healing, and asked if she had had a tetanus injection. Her parents were told they had no reason to worry.

However, the Thomas family have said that they were not happy with the care they were given.

Mr Thomas said: "It was strange how they downplayed the whole thing. At the time, we thought we were at fault but these are children. We just want other parents to know the dangers."

The family don't plan to take legal action, but they would like officials at the park to either raise the age limit for dolphin feeding or remind parents that dolphins do bite.

Click on the image below to watch footage of the dolphin bite incident...




Click on the image below to see National Geographic's best winter trips...

10 PHOTOS
National Geographic's best winter trips 2012-2013
See Gallery
Dolphin bites girl at family theme park

During the Winterlicious foodie festival (January 25 to February 7) you can nosh your way through Toronto's diverse neighbourhoods. Culinary events include affordable prix fixe menus at more than 100 of the city's top restaurants, such as Trevor Kitchen and Bar. Work up an appetite with an afternoon skate outside city hall at Nathan Phillips Square or at Natrel Rink at Harbourfront Centre.

Between mid-December and early March, Yellowstone is a winter wonderland best explored on foot, cross-country skis, or snowshoes. The park stays open all year round, but in winter most roads are closed to wheeled vehicles. Lodging and Learning packages offered by Yellowstone National Park Lodges and the Yellowstone Association Institute make it easy to stay and play in the park. Guided winter programmes offer wildlife expeditions (view bison, elk, bighorn sheep, pronghorn, coyotes and wolves), cross-country ski day treks, and Winter Wolf Discoveries.

Advent in Salzburg delivers a multi-sensory infusion of gingerbread-warm holiday spirit. Festivities begin in early December with informal and organised Krampuslaufe or Krampus processions. According to legend, the shaggy, horned demon Krampus frightens naughty children, while his benevolent counterpart St Nicholas rewards the nice ones. The town of Grodig is well known for its parades as well as its romantic holiday markets. Sip mulled wine, ices skate on the Mozartplazz, and ride Austria's oldest funicular railway, Festungsbahn, to view the surrounding snow-dusted panorama. After Christmas, from January 24 to February 3, there's the Mozarteum Foundation Mozart week, a classical music festival with opera productions, chamber music, soloists, and orchestral concerts.

The packed winter trails crisscrossing Chena State Recreation Area's 397 square miles of forests and alpine tundra are open for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, snowmachining, and winter mountain biking. On February 16, the final leg of the thousand-mile Yukon Quest international sled dog race runs through the recreation area along portions of the old Chena Hot Springs Winter Trail. Cheer on the teams, then stay at nearby Chena Hot Springs Resort and view the northern lights on the 13-passenger Snow Coach tour. 

Carnival in Brazil's first capital (and former Portuguese colonial capital) is a cruising Afro-Brazilian dance party stretching mile after mile along city and coastal circuits. In 2013, Carnival runs from February 7 to February 13, but in Salvador, the partying continues through the morning of Ash Wednesday, when processions pulsate to Ondina Beach.

An 80-minute flight from Miami, the Caymans encompass three beautiful islands in the western Caribbean.  On Grand Cayman, stroll along coral-sand Seven Mile Beach and swim with yearling green sea turtles in the saltwater lagoon at Cayman Turtle Farm. For an all-in-one Cayman getaway, make family-owned Brac Reef Beach Resort your home base for beachfront lodging, diving, snorkelling, kayaking and birding.

Located south-west of the Serengeti, the 7,809 square mile national park is an off-the-beaten-adventure-tour-track, offering a quieter, wider environment for exceptional game viewing and birding. January to April (the hot, short rainfall season) is considered the best time to view the park's more than 57 species. Book one of the eight luxury tents at secluded Jongomero safari camp for ranger-guided game drives and small-group walking safaris.

Hop on a high-speed bullet train in Taipei to zip across western Taiwan's valleys, plains and Central Mountain Range foothills. The Taiwan High Speed Rail western route runs over 152 miles of elevated rail from Taipei south to Kaohsiung. From February 23 to March 10, at the 2013 Taiwan Lantern Festival, thousands of soaring and animated lanterns will illuminate the night sky of Taiwan's oldest city, Hsinchu County. 

For exceptional sea kayaking and snorkelling along shallow reefs, secluded white sand beaches and unspoiled nature reserves, this reef system is perfect. National Geographic Expeditions runs a small-group adventure to Belize which includes safari-style beach camping, snorkelling along the perimeter of the Great Blue Hole. Alternatively, book a private villa at all-inclusive Turneffe Island resort.

Take a trip to Ice City, in the frosted reaches of north east China, to see the incredible ice sculptures. Huge palaces, pyramids, dragons mythical creatures, light and ice shows, ice skating and ice boxing championships are all there to dazzle you (and there are even frozen water slides to freeze your bottom on). The month long Harbin Ice and Snow Festival begins on January 5. Harbin is accessible via train or plane from Beijing or Shanghai.

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE


Related articles:

Watch as horny dolphin humps tourist

Dolphin shoots hoops with his nose
Read Full Story

FROM OUR PARTNERS