Dolphin Bites Girl at Sea World

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-15-2009
Dolphin Bites Girl at Sea World
3
Mon, 12-03-2012 - 11:36am

An 8 year-old girl was bitten by a dolphin at Sea World, and her parents are sharing the video to show other parents what could happen.  The girl had just finished feeding the dolphins when she lifted up her paper plate to show her mother it was empty when one of the dolphins jumped out of the water and bit the girl's hand and arm.  Visitors are warned NOT to lift or move the plate because it could attract the dolphins who don't understand that the plate doesn't have fish on it anymore.

The video and entire story are here:  http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2012/12/02/dolphin-bites-8-year-old-girl-florida-seaworld

I think the parents are doing a good thing by putting this out there to remind people why these rules are in place.  I don't think the park is to blame here.  I can easily see my own 8 year-old easily forgetting the rule too.

Have you ever fed the dolphins at Sea World?  Do you think this story would prevent you from wanting to try it?

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-25-2000
Mon, 12-03-2012 - 12:04pm

We never did it at Sea World.   However, we did a dolphin training program in Cozumel last year.

We did feed the dolphins, and learned how to get them to do tricks.   My daughter Makayla was actually afraid to go into the tank once she saw how many teeth they have, so in our pics her father is always right by her side.

I have to admit, the dolphins were very gentle.    However, when you mix children with animals of any kind (my other DD Madison was mauled pretty bad by a friend's dog when she was 3) things can go wrong.   

My daughters have asked to go back to do the dolphin trainer program again for their 10th birthday, and  while I realize the dolphin wasn't trying to hurt anyone, it does make me hesitant.    My thoughts/fears may be clouded by what Madison went through. . . .

 

  

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-21-2007
Sun, 12-09-2012 - 10:07pm
I have fed the dolphins MANY times at Sea World. MANY MANY times, lol. There are signs everywhere, announcements over a loud-speaker, and workers walking and in canoes telling people to not do exactly what this little girl did. That being said, I do NOT blame the little girl. She is, after all, a little girl. I also do not blame the park. They have ample warnings of what can happen if/when this type of thing is done. I do, however, blame the parents. I don't know exactly how many kids mom and dad had with them, but if it was more than just this little girl, then dad needed to get off the camera and help supervise to make sure that the kids were not doing things they shouldn't be doing (but may in a moment of excitement forget). And if she was the only child with them, then mom needed to be paying a lot better attention to her daughter. These dolphins are gentle creatures (exhibited by the fact that as soon as the dolphin realized her hand was not a fish, it let go). But, they are NOT domesticated. They are, and will always, be wild animals. So, any interaction with a wild animal is going to inherently come with some risks. What everyone has to do is decide for themselves and their family whether those risks are worth it or not. I think the dad putting the video out there as a PSA is a good thing. But, it does not really seem to me to be only done as a PSA. I will be truly shocked if there is not a lawsuit to come out of this.


Photobucket
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-21-2007
Sun, 12-09-2012 - 10:08pm
Sorry for the text above being all in one big paragraph...when I wrote it, I separated it all nicely, lol.


Photobucket