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Dolphins. Loveable, playful creatures. Flipper and all that, right? Well, not for one young girl at Florida's SeaWorld in Orlando.

Eight-year-old Jillian Thomas of Georgia suffered three puncture wounds on her hand and was nearly dragged into the water after a hungry dolphin bit her as she fed it fish scraps.

Jillian’s father, Jamie, captured the incident on video.

"The first thing I thought was I would have to jump in water and save my daughter's life," he told the Orlando Sentinel. "I literally thought she was going to be pulled into the water."

Mr Thomas claims SeaWorld staff trivialised the incident.

"Thank God it didn’t pull her in the water," he said.A similar incident happened in 2006 when a dolphin grabbed hold of a seven-year-old, the Sentinel reported.The Thomas family is not planning legal action but did want changes to the way the attraction was run and the age limit for children feeding dolphins.