Dolphin Attacks Trainer And Drags Her Underwater At Controversial Seaquarium
A shocked audience member captured the moment that a dolphin appeared to attack a trainer and drag her underwater at a controversial marine life park in Miami.
Again, take this as a WARNING, because the video could be distressing.
Local media has since reported that the trainer was taken to hospital in an ambulance, although it does not appear that she suffered any serious injuries.
The footage was captured by Shannon Carpenter, a visitor to the Seaquarium from Kentucky, who said: "The kids were cheering and thinking this was neat.
“You could tell the adults knew something was wrong."
Miami Seaquarium has since released a statement claiming that an investigation found that the trainer had accidentally scratched the dolphin, which caused it to act out.
That statement said: "A dolphin and trainer accidentally collided in the water on Saturday while performing a routine behavior as part of the Flipper Show.
“This was an uncomfortable interaction for both of them and the dolphin reacted by breaking away from the routine and striking the trainer,"
The dolphin is also not thought to have been injured.
Since then, a former employee of the park, veterinarian Jenna Wallace, claimed that this dolphin has been violent in the past and this is not an isolated incident.
She told Local10.com: "I have been told by previous veterinarians and staff that this animal had rammed another trainer in the abdomen.
"When dolphins become aggressive like this, there's always some underlying thing," she added.
In a statement after the fact, PETA – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals – criticised the ‘exploitation of dolphins’ at the park, calling for the whole venue to close.
General Counsel Jared Goodman said: "Time is up for the Miami Seaquarium, where long-suffering dolphins desperately need protection and workers are at risk,
"PETA urges this abusement park to end its exploitation of dolphins by getting them to sanctuaries as quickly as possible so that they'd never be used in tawdry shows again and no one else would get hurt.”
Last June, Miami Seaquarium was found to have committed many animal welfare violations after a report by the US Department of Agriculture.
That document claimed the park was feeding rotten fish to animals, habitats falling into disrepair, and animals being inadequately cared for.
It also noted that some dolphins at the park had died.
The park is also home to Lolita, an orca who has been working for 52 years and has become the subject of a campaign to release her from the orca tank – the smallest in the world – to a sea sanctuary on the Pacific Northwest.
UNILAD has contacted Seaquarium for comment.
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