Michelle Kretzer, People
for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
Maybe that’s why yet another no doubt frustrated captive dolphin has bitten a child. A dolphin at SeaWorld San Antonio’s Dolphin Cove latched onto the hand and wrist of a 9-year-old girl so tightly that the child’s mother was unable to free her and a SeaWorld employee had to intervene.
Victor Hugo said, “An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.” And SeaWorld is finding out exactly what that means.
Problems keep mounting for the marine-mammal abusement park. Barely more than a year after a PETA complaint prompted the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to cite SeaWorld Orlando for violations of the Animal Welfare Act—including allowing dolphin and orca tanks to fall into dangerous disrepair—the park has racked up more, repeat violations for many of the same issues.
Nakai was injured on a sharp metal edge in his tank while reportedly fleeing from an aggressive altercation with two other orcas.
SeaWorld was just cited for failing to maintain the flooring at its Sea Lion and Otter Stadium. The rubber flooring on which the animals walk during shows was dangerously dislodged and littered with paint chips. The park had been issued a repeat citation in 2007 for the same problem. During the most recent inspection, SeaWorld was also cited for continuing to keep dozens of expired surgical sutures—which can become unsterile, result in premature suture failure, and lead to life-threatening infections in the animals—in its surgery room despite a previous USDA directive to develop a protocol for disposing of expired sutures.
When it comes to violating animal welfare laws and endangering animals, the park’s attitude seems to be “meh.”
Maybe that’s why yet another no doubt frustrated captive dolphin has bitten a child. A dolphin at SeaWorld San Antonio’s Dolphin Cove latched onto the hand and wrist of a 9-year-old girl so tightly that the child’s mother was unable to free her and a SeaWorld employee had to intervene. PETA has filed a formal complaint with the USDA asking the agency to investigate and hold SeaWorld accountable for endangering both the dolphin and the public in violation of federal law.
Dolphin biting child at SeaWorld on February 22, 2014
Many children have been bitten by stressed animals at SeaWorld’s parks,
most recently in December 2012, when an 8-year-old girl sustained puncture
wounds while hand-feeding a dolphin at SeaWorld Orlando.
This most recent incident happened just a few days after another dolphin was born into a lifetime of captivity at SeaWorld Orlando’s Discovery Cove. Let’s hope the park doesn’t choose to separate the baby from her mother, Rose, and ship her off to a different park.
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