Make this page my home page
  1. Drag the home icon in this panel and drop it onto the "house icon" in the tool bar for the browser

  2. Select "Yes" from the popup window and you're done!

Home > Topics > Pediatric Care

Video: Dolphin bites 8-year-old girl at SeaWorld

She was trying to feed the dolphin when it surfaced and bit her arm

Associated Press

ATLANTA — An 8-year-old Georgia girl says it "really, really hurt" when a dolphin snatched her hand in its mouth while she fed the animal as part of an attraction at SeaWorld in Orlando, Fla.

Jillian Thomas of Alpharetta said she raised the paper carton she was holding, and "when the dolphin saw that, it leaped at me and bit me, ate the carton."

"It really, really hurt," Jillian said in an interview Monday with ABC's "Good Morning America."

Jillian suffered three puncture wounds to her hand. Her father Jamie Thomas, who was with her at the theme park when the dolphin lunged from its pool Nov. 21, described his reaction as: "Instant fear."

After his initial thought that he might have to dive into the tank to rescue his daughter, a SeaWorld employee offered to help.

"They asked if she wanted first aid, and I said `she's bleeding' so yes, we want first aid," he recalled.

Jillian held two dolphin stuffed animals as she recounted the ordeal, saying she hoped the dolphin didn't get sick from eating the paper carton. She's prayed for the animal at night, she said.

The paper cartons are used to hold fish children and others feed the dolphins. Jillian's parents say park-goers may not realize the risk involved in feeding dolphins, which is why they posted video of the Nov. 21 bite to YouTube, so parents can decide for themselves whether it is safe.

SeaWorld officials said in a statement that the safety of their guests is paramount, and they are taking the situation seriously.

"Educators and animal care staff are always on-site at this area, monitoring all interactions and are committed to guest safety," SeaWorld said in the statement.

Associated PressCopyright 2015 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

"Educators and animal care staff were at the attraction when this happened and immediately connected with the family," SeaWorld said. "In addition, a member of our health services team was in the area at Dolphin Cove and quickly responded and treated the young girl."

The comments below are member-generated and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of or its staff. If you cannot see comments, try disabling privacy and ad blocking plugins in your browser. All comments must comply with our Member Commenting Policy.
Manuel Carta Manuel Carta Monday, December 03, 2012 2:56:30 PM Tu dai da mangiare al delfino.....ahahahhaah......delfino goloso
Jacob Hall Jacob Hall Monday, December 03, 2012 2:59:00 PM Not the Park's fault. I hope to hell the parents don't sue the park over this. Its the little girl's fault for taunting the dolphin.
Anna Stonesifer Anna Stonesifer Saturday, December 08, 2012 3:57:39 PM actually it isn't the kids fault it is the parents fault for letting her do it..
Cindy Nace Moriarity Cindy Nace Moriarity Saturday, December 08, 2012 4:10:59 PM I have done that attraction and the staff clearly explained how to feed these dolphins. You can see in the video this child taps the dolphins nose first and then she is playing with the food in front of the dolphin. They only know and are trained in taking the food from your hand. Get over it people I hope they don't sue this is a great interaction with the dolphin. Parents should pay attention to there children.
Lori Wagoner Lori Wagoner Saturday, December 08, 2012 4:13:11 PM its really neither or the parents or the childs. anything can happen at any giveing point just glad the girls ok.
Debbie Trudel-Gartner Debbie Trudel-Gartner Saturday, December 08, 2012 4:29:30 PM its no ones fault maybe the parents should have been with the child anyway it was a small injury..thank god..but they should take her to the dr. and keep an eye on it maybe take some antibiotics just in the way I am an emt.
Lauren Webster Lauren Webster Saturday, December 08, 2012 11:37:52 PM Shit happens. Builds character. Maybe next time she won't taunt a wild animal with food. I think the parents freaking out over this is just one more example of the generation of pussies that is being raised in this country.

EMS1 Offers

Sponsored by

We Recommend...

Connect with EMS1

Mobile Apps Facebook Twitter Google+

Get the #1 EMS eNewsletter

Fire Newsletter Sign up for our FREE email roundup of the top news, tips, columns, videos and more, sent 3 times weekly
Enter Email
See Sample

Online Campus Both

Pediatric Care Videos