Young Girl Bit by Dolphin at Sea World as Mom Watches in Shock
Jillian Thomas, was visiting Sea World with her family, fulfilling one of her dreams of feeding the dolphins. Unfortunately, the dream afternoon turned dangerous when the dolphin she was feeding wanted the entire plate that the 8-year-old was holding and lunged into her arm, bit her, and nearly pulled her into the water.
She came away with the fright of her life and small holes the size of dimes as a souvenir of her day at Dolphin Cove. It could have been much worse; she could have been pulled in and drowned but when it’s your child, even the tiniest scratch is too dangerous.
Jillian’s mom caught the entire thing on videotape. She was shocked at what she saw through her lens and even more appalled at how the Sea World staff handled the situation. While, Sea World specifically warns people not to lift the food plates, their aloof nature after the incident upset the family.
What would you do?
I, personally, used to be the girl who wanted to swim with the dolphins and get as up close and personal with nature as possible. There is just something about being able to co-exist peacefully with wild animals, because that is what they are. I guess, for adults anyways, there is also a slight thrill in knowing that by doing these things, we are pushing limits.
I am no longer the person who wants to hold monkeys, swim with dolphins, pet a whale or befriend a lion cub.
You know why?
Because I grew up and I realized that wild animals don’t like to be caged, no more than human beings. I realized that though they may be force domesticated, they still retain their natural animal instincts. I realized that in order to be able to peacefully co-exist with wild animals, I need to let them peacefully exist on their own and I need to do the same.
Wild animals are always wild animals and to think otherwise is naïve. How many whales have to drown their trainers? How many chimpanzees need to rip the faces off of their caregivers? How many wild animals need to do what comes naturally to them before we realize, it’s not them, it’s us?
This dolphin only wanted the plate of food. He can’t ask for it. She lifted it up and the dolphin tried to take it. He wasn’t trying to hurt the child. The people who are at fault are Sea World which gives people a false sense of security and leads them to believe that since they paid for it, it must be okay to get all handsy with the wild animals. The other party responsible is the little girl’s parents.
I would never let my children put their hands anywhere near a wild animals mouth, no matter who said it was okay because common sense proves otherwise. I am sure that many times it is safe but those are the times that we are lucky. We have no business using wild animals as entertainment.
It’s awful that this happened but I hope it brings attention to other parents and next tome they think it’s cute or a great photo or video op to take of their children, they remember this little girl getting her arm bit and how easily she could have been drowned.
Would you let your child feed the dolphins up close and personal like this?
Image via Flickr Rene Mensen