Girl describes dolphin bite at SeaWorld Orlando

Father says he had 'instant fear' when animal lunged at daughter

Published On: Dec 03 2012 10:24:30 AM EST   Updated On: Dec 03 2012 05:32:09 PM EST

An 8-year-old Georgia girl says it "really, really hurt" when a dolphin bit her hand while she fed the animal at SeaWorld Orlando.

But Jillian Thomas of Alpharetta says was concerned that the dolphin didn't get sick from eating the paper carton she held.  In an interview on ABC's Good Morning America Monday, Jillian said she prayed for the dolphin after the attack.

Jillian suffered three puncture wounds to her hand. Her father Jamie, who was with her at the theme park when the dolphin lunged from its pool Nov. 21, described his reaction this way: "Instant fear."

In a statement, SeaWorld officials said that the safety of their guests is paramount, and that they are taking the situation seriously.