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Dolphin attacks

December 9. 2012.

There were two accidents during dolphin encounter programs recently, but the reasons unknown.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, eight-year-old Jillian Thomas was feeding the dolphins at Dolphin Cove last week when the "marine mammal lunged toward her during the feeding and snapped his toothy snout around the 8-year-old's hand." The attack left four puncture wounds in the young girl's arm and was captured on video by the girl's parents.

A week later a Swedish couple honeymooning in Cancun, Mexico, were attacked by a dolphin during a swim-with-the-dolphins session held at a marine park. According to the Norwegian website VG Nett, Sabina Cadbrand and Christofer Stenström were attacked by a dolphin named Picasso when they joined six other tourists, but not only the two Swedish were hurt. One woman's injury was so significant that she required a wheelchair for her trip to the hospital.

The accidents served to highlight the lack of regulations and oversight regarding human interaction with captive cetaceans. Many NGO's oppose keeping marine mammals in captivity. According to the Oceanic Preservation Society in recorded history not one orca has killed a human in the wild but since 1991 four people have died at the hands of orcas in captivity, and there are dozens of others that have nearly died over the last forty years. More than half of marine mammal workers and trainers have been injured by the animals they work with on a daily basis.

[ Source: Digital Journal, Oceanic Preservation Society ]

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