The incident occurred on 11/21, but it’s only making news now, suggesting SeaWorld either tried and failed to keep it quiet or downplayed it and misjudged how upset the family was.
Either way, good for Amy and Jamie Thomas of Alpharetta, GA for going public about the dolphin bite inflicted on their eight-year-old daughter, Jillian, at SeaWorld Orlando’s Discovery Cove and helping to educate families about the risks to humans and dolphins of keeping dolphins in tiny, crowded, shallow pools so humans can pay to pet and feed them.
It’s commendable that Jillian is worried about the dolphin who bit her — accidentally or intentionally, we may never know. She should be. It’s a horrible life for these intelligent, sensitive, self-aware animals. But it makes SeaWorld loads of money, so, as the company was quick to make clear, it’s not going to close down these attractions anytime soon.
SeaWorld isn’t taking responsibility for the incident, either. Just as it tried to do when the captive killer whale Tilikum killed trainer Dawn Brancheau at SeaWorld Orlando on February 24, 2010, SeaWorld is again trying to blame the victim — in this case, an eight-year-old girl — for not following the rules.
And thanks to Annette Pritchard for sharing this news.