Posted on February 26, 2014 at 10:53 PM
Wednesday, Feb 26 at 10:53 PM
SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- A 9-year-old girl sustained bite marks to her hand in an incident with a dolphin at SeaWorld San Antonio, according to a complaint received by the United States Department of Agriculture in Washington.
An official with the USDA said the agency is looking into the allegation and working to determine if there was any non-compliance with the Animal Welfare Act. Only then would the USDA launch an investigation.
The complaint, triggered by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, alleged a dolphin at SeaWorld's Dolphin Cove 'latched' onto the girl's wrist causing bite marks and swelling.
In a PETA statement, the girl's mom was unable to release the dolphin from the girl's hand until an employee intervened.
Dolphin Cove offers visitors the chance to touch and interact with Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, according to the SeaWorld website.
SeaWorld released the following response to the incident:
"At SeaWorld, the safety of our guests and animals is a top priority. We are fully investigating this incident and we regret the guest experienced this during her visit. SeaWorld provides thousands of safe interactions between our guests and animals each day, and incidents like this are few and far between. SeaWorld staff was present at Dolphin Cove during the incident, and responded quickly to assist the guest, who received on-site medical evaluation. After the incident she and her family stayed in the park and visited other attractions."