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Family Mad After Dolphin Bites Girl at SeaWorld

But spokeswoman says 8-year-old broke the rules

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 3, 2012 4:00 PM CST
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(Newser) – An Atlanta family is at odds with SeaWorld today after a playful dolphin leaped up and bit the family's 8-year-old girl on the hand, CNN reports. The Thomases say they posted a video of Jillian being bitten in Orlando, Fla., because they weren't satisfied with SeaWorld's response to the incident. "We felt powerless," says Jillian's dad. "We thought, look, we've got this video, let's make it public, and let's try to put some pressure on SeaWorld to make some changes."

In the November 21 video, you can see Jillian feeding dolphins from a paper plate when she mistakenly picked up the plate—against SeaWorld instructions—and the dolphin momentarily bit her. "I was thinking it was going to haul me into the water," says Jillian. What's more, her mother says, SeaWorld staffers never offered a Band-Aid or told them to look for signs of infection. But a SeaWorld spokeswoman says health staffers "quickly responded" to Jillian, who had been given "specific instructions to not pick up the paper trays at any time."

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