- The Washington Times - Friday, February 28, 2014

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has demanded that the Department of Agriculture investigate SeaWorld in San Antonio after a little girl, 9, was bitten by a dolphin she was allowed to pat.

The girl was participating in the “Dolphin Cove” exhibit that allows visitors to get up close and personal with the mammals, ABC News reported. While the girl’s hand swelled and she was forced to undergo medical treatment, PETA sent out a statement that condemned the exhibit.

“This incident and exhibit clearly endangered both the dolphin and the public,” PETA counsel Brittany Peet said, calling the incident an “apparent Animal Welfare Act violation” and citing it as just more proof that dolphins shouldn’t be confined.

“It’s stressful enough for far-ranging dolphins to be locked up in SeaWorld’s tiny tanks, but forcing them to interact with visitors is downright dangerous,” said another PETA counselor, Jeff Kerr, in ABC. “SeaWorld’s ‘Dolphin Cove’ is another example of how the park’s main priority is profit, not the welfare of the animals or the safety of its guests.”

The dolphin apparently clamped on to the girl’s wrist so tightly that her mother couldn’t immediately free her, ABC reported. A SeaWorld worker was ultimately able to get the dolphin to let go, but the girl suffered swelling and bite marks to both hand and wrist.

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