An 8-year-old Atlanta girl and her family say they got the fright of their lives at SeaWorld Orlando last month when a dolphin lunged toward the girl and bit her hand.
Jillian Thomas’ father, Jamie Thomas, captured the Nov. 21 attack on video with images of his daughter’s face contorting with pain as the girl suffered three puncture wounds the size of dimes, reports the Orlando Sentinel.
The cuts are healing, the family was thankful the attack wasn’t worse. Still, the family posted the video online as a warning to other parents.
“The first thing I thought was I would have to jump in the water and save my daughter's life,” Jamie Thomas told the Orlando Sentinel. “I literally thought she was going to be pulled into the water.”
The girl was attacked while she was participating in the feeding at the dolphin cove, the newspaper reported.
She put the paper fish container up in the air to where the dolphin could grab it, which SeaWorld warns against. The child's mother said her daughter made a mistake and "you can't hold a minor responsible for that."
SeaWorld officials said in a statement they had not seen the video but are taking the matter seriously.
"Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our guests, employees and animals," the statement said. "Educators and animal care staff were at the attraction when this happened and immediately connected with the family."