December 2, 2012

"I am such an overprotective parent that if I knew my child might get bitten, I would not have even let my daughter do this."

"But I felt safe. Everyone just imagines dolphins as smiling, non-biting animals with knobby teeth. You forget these are wild animals."

Ugh. Human beings and their attitudes about dolphins. Everyone just imagines dolphins as smiling... No. Some people realize that's just the shape of their mouth. Meanwhile, a little 8-year-old girl is bitten because she impulsively does exactly what the kids are told not to do: moves the paper tray of fish. The dolphins are all just fine taking fish from kids, but when the paper tray is moved, a dolphin immediately jumps up to grab it, biting the child.

Whose fault is this?
  
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41 comments:

Mary Beth said...

I voted for it being the parents' fault but I was really thinking of whose responsibility it was, not who was at fault.

Patrick said...

Seems like a minor injury. Maybe the parents will learn to chill the fuck out, and let their kid do some 'frickin exploring for a change.

The world ain't perfect. Dolphins bite. Might as well get your kid used to it.

Sorun said...

"...the family feels like they trivialized the matter."

Little girl gets an owie. Film at 11.

Aridog said...

Sea World is at fault for presenting porpoises as cuddle puppies. Putting people, even children in with them is just plain stupid. Porpoises are not dogs with 1000's of years domestication. Ignorance of wildlife by corporate stooges is a crime against nature.

Hagar said...

The mother also needs to take a course in remedial English.

Rockport Conservative said...

The parents probably voted for Obama. I guess they didn't notice the needle looking teeth behind that "smile." Dolphins are predators, they have sharp teeth, they use them when they need to.

Lincolntf said...

The dolphin have bided their time long enough. Let the children beware.

wyo sis said...

Children don't think ahead even when they are told something they sometimes don't take it seriously. Dolphins are wild animals.
This was bound to happen, but really, is it all that serious?
Everyone has a certain amount of responsibility. The one thing IMO that can be stated for sure is it wasn't the fault of the dolphin.

Ann Althouse said...

Dogs bite kids too. Is it irresponsible to put kids in contact with dogs?

SteveR said...

Sea World is the supposed experts and by allowing it and promoting it, they take on the libility. Sure the parents share some blame but realistically you wouldn't leave the house iof you didn't trust people (and companies) not to endanger the kids so aggresiously. Not an accident.

Palladian said...

So long and thanks for all the... hey, come back here you little bitch!

wyo sis said...

I can't believe the place isn't blanketed with notices stating Sea World is not responsible for injuries. For the parents to pretend they didn't know there was a possibility of a bite is stupid. Own your mistakes people.

Palladian said...

OMG THE CHILDREN!

If you think dolphins are bad, think of what CARS do to innocent little princesses! BAN ALL CARS! Think of the CHILDREN!

Erika said...

Shit happens; life has risks. Those parents need to stop hyperventilating and expecting other people rise to their level of hysterics. Protip: animals are not robots; they are never 100% predictable. I'm sure the park will cover whatever medical costs they have, and someday the kid will be able to show her bitchin' scars from when she got chomped by a dolphin when she was little. It sounds like an alls-well-that-ends-well to me, honestly.

Ann Althouse said...

I love the part of the video when the parents insist on getting the wound on camera. Obviously, they're already thinking: lawsuit. The girl doesn't want to show it, I think because she's ashamed that she broke the rule and that was the consequence, exactly what she was warned about. She knew she did something dumb and was embarrassed. You can hear the parents say that no one will see it, but they put it up on YouTube! So... they lied to her. These people need to refocus themselves on truth and consequences, not this "everyone just imagines" bullshit.

Lew Lipshitz said...

It makes me angry to see an out of control Dolphin like that. It should be shot!

paminwi said...

Is it irresponsible to put kids in contact with dogs? When they are not your own or ones that you know very well the answer is yes!

I am amazed at how many parents let their children approach a dog they don't know and when the child is 6 inches from the dog's face ask "Is it ok for the my child to pet your dog?"

What idiots parents are! Never let your child approach a dog you don't know. If you must, have the parent approach the owner and keep your kid at a distance until you are told that it is ok to bring your child over. Ever see a kids face that has been bitten by a dog that was surprised by a kids sudden movement? I have and it is a tragic situation that could have been avoided!

Mom said...

"is it irresponsible to put kids in contact with dogs?"

If you don't know the dog -- yes, it is.

MadisonMan said...

I like how the girl doesn't want to show her hand to her Dad, and Mom's saying "We're not gonna show it to anybody!".

Yeah, we'll just put it on youtube.

Idiot parents.

Surfed said...

Late 1969 and I'm a longhaired shortboard riding revolutionary when I had my first dolphin encounter. Out in the lineup past the breakers a baby dolphin pops up right next to me sitting on my surfboard. I'm looking at it and it's looking back at me. Guessing I'm the first human it's ever seen. This lasts about three seconds when Momma' shows up. And she's pissed that junior was up taking a look see. She starts slappin the water with her tail, zooms right under me, corrals her youngster and they're gone. I caught a wave in. Since then just the regular sharing the waves with them when they follow the mullet runs onto the sandbars. If they "get air" while riding you do not want them landing on you. They are big animals. Don't even get me started about sharks...

Maguro said...

I, for one, welcome our new dolphin overlords.

Sam L. said...

You left out "It's BUSH!!!!11!!!!'s fault, dear Ann. Also, "Everyone's, AND their pet rhino".

Mark said...

Wild animal doctrine, no? From first-year Torts?

ricpic said...

There are well behaved thoroughly domesticated dogs that can nevertheless be pushed to the point where they'll bite a kid who's teasing them or just being overly friendly. I know as I was such a kid and the dog bite I received was shocking but really could have been much worse. The dog was actually showing restraint even though I had gotten way too much into his space. It was a good lesson in manners.

edutcher said...

2 and 3.

They should have read "Hondo" (or seen the movie version).

One of the big lessons - kids learn by getting bit.

Lem said...

The problem, as I see it, is one of fairness. Now one girl is going to get all the attention at the expense of her siblings... it started with extra film footage of her bite... the bite the other kids didnt get.

The parents are going to engage in protracted, insidious, unequal pampering... marking the other children by making them feel inferior for not having been bitten.

The children that were not chosen to be bitten are irreparably damaged for life.

Rob said...

Some people also say that it's just the shape of dogs' mouths that makes it seem they're smiling. But those of us who know dogs are convinced that often they are smiling. And if dogs can smile, who's to say that dolphins can't. Remember, a world without dolphins would be porpoiseless.

Lem said...

BTW.. The correct answer is...

The dolphin's. He needs to learn to control his impulses.

Clearly.

n.n said...

Is this another question to infer political or ideological predisposition?

The "correct" answer is determined by maximizing a function to earn profit through extortion. Discounting for physical or authoritarian coercion, the most effect means is through emotional appeals. The family's representatives should follow the environmentalist model. They should file a class action lawsuit, which has been demonstrated to effect an optimal empathetic response, and secure the greatest residual return for the lawyers or advocates.

Sarcasm aside, since the child has demonstrated an acceptance of greater personal responsibility than her parents, can we surmise that her character is a product of nature?

Also, what, exactly, are they teaching in our schools about the natural world? Is it possible that people are genuinely confused about the natural order? Even with a poor or marginal educational product, it should be sufficient to comprehend reality while observing human behavior. Even dressed in euphemistic semantics, the underlying competitive nature is quite obvious.

Aridog said...

Althouse said...

Dogs bite kids too. Is it irresponsible to put kids in contact with dogs?

Now I know you know better than that. Dogs have a few thousand years of domestication and habituation with humans. Porpoises do not.

I'm familiar with wild wolves, and wolf hybrids (that I have rescued), all that I love deeply, and I would most definitely say it would be irresponsible to put kids in with them. Period.

It takes time and education to learn to mix with wild things, and children in most cases have not had the exposure necessary. A wolf in a petting zoo or a porpoise in a feeding station with little children is just nuts.

tim maguire said...

Sea World is at fault, obviously. They're their dolphins, they're the experts. Everyone who goes to a theme park trusts the people running it to run it safely. If simply moving a little paper tray causes a dolphin bite, then they should have nailed down the tray. This was inevitable.

That said, it doesn't seem like a big deal. Pretty minor cuts.

ambienisevil said...
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rcommal said...
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Kirk Parker said...

Palladian FTW @ 6:45pm!!!

rcommal said...

Plenty of blame to put all the way around, but, of course, the ultimate responsibility all the way around, regardless, belongs to the parents. That's how it works.

Ever see a kids face that has been bitten by a dog that was surprised by a kids sudden movement?

Yes. In the mirror. After the initial stitching up, there were a couple of plastic surgeries involved before I hit grade school, and that was in a different age.

Hassell Anderson said...

Fault for what? Blame for what? The girl got a few nicks on her hand and learned a valuable lesson about nature. She is now the proud owner of a life experience about getting bit by a dolphin and living to tell the tale. We should instead be asking who deserves credit.

Fr Martin Fox said...

I voted for the dolphin learning self control. That seems a more probable success.

Kirk Parker said...

Fr. Martin,

I find such cynicism unseemly for a man of the cloth.

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OK, actually my first reaction was LOL!!! :-)

Fernandinande said...

Years ago at Seaworld or some such place I was feeding the dolphins and moved my hand around when they went for the fish, curious as to whether they'd bit or scratch me with their teeth - they went out of their way to avoid doing so, even missing out on the fish.

Methadras said...

Come on. Didn't you know that people can be such dolphinists? How dare they.

Methadras said...

I'll saw this again, zoos and aquazoo's like sea world should be closed around the world. They serve zero purpose. They don't actually do any zoology, but rather are there for people to gawk at for a profit to the detriment of the animals. If you want real zoology, then do it in the wild, in their habitat. Otherwise, I find them to be nothing but large torture bases.