SeaWorld Orlando announced yesterday that guests will no longer be able to feed dolphins at Dolphin Cove, a tradition that has spanned for decades.
The previous $7 experience had its share of controversy in recent years, particularly after a little girl was bitten by a dolphin in December 2012.
This was not the first time a dolphin had bitten the hand that fed it. In 2006, a 6 year old boy was bitten by a juvenile dolphin in the same manner.
So what is SeaWorld’s response? Instead of offering dolphin feedings, they are now charging $15, over twice as much, for the same experience without the food. The new offer will include a 10 minute interaction with an opportunity to touch the dolphin.
SeaWorld's new dolphin interaction does not solve the problem of dolphins being inappropriately or roughly touched by guests, items falling into the pool for dolphins to ingest, or an occasional bite. All in all the new experience doesn’t appear to serve any purpose except to help SeaWorld make more money by further exploiting their dolphins.
The park has not reported whether or not there will be a minimum age requirement for the new interaction. The SeaWorld website still advertises their feedings as an “unforgettable experience.” Just ask those bitten.