Video: Dolphin Bites 8-Year-Old Girl At Florida SeaWorld

An eight-year-old Georgia girl was bitten by a dolphin on a pre-Thanksgiving visit to Orlando's SeaWorld.

The incident, caught on video by her father, took place as Jillian Thomas was feeding dolphins with her brother and other children.

As Thomas was telling her mother she was out of fish, she lifted the paper plate to show it was empty, and the dolphin jumped out the water biting the girl on the hand and arm.

Park visitors are warned not to lift or move the plate for it might attract the attention of a dolphin not understanding there aren't any fish on it.

"The first thing I thought was I would have to jump in the water and save my daughter's life," Jillian's father told the Orlando Sentinel. "I literally thought she was going to be pulled into the water."

The dolphin quickly released its grip, but Jillian was left with four dime-sized puncture wounds on her hand.

The family told the Sentinel that Jillian's injuries are healing, but they're unhappy with how park officials seemed to trivialize the incident.

"It was strange how they downplayed the whole thing," said Jillian's mother. "At the time, we thought we were at fault but these are children. We just want other parents to know the dangers."

"Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our guests, employees and animals," SeaWorld officials said in a statement. "Educators and animal care staff were at the attraction when this happened and immediately connected with the family."

Jillian's father published the video of the incident at YouTube Saturday stating, "We wanted to share this video so others can make an informed decision about whether or not the risks to yourself or your child are worth the experience."

Noel Sheppard's picture