Orlando, FL -
Catiana, an animal lover, was at SeaWorld celebrating her eleventh birthday with her mom and dad on July 20th. After watching the dolphin show and all of the show members and trainers had left due to a lightning storm, Catiana and her family, along with others, witnessed a “horrific” incident. According to NY Daily News, one of the dolphins from the show was stuck on the ledge in the tank and was struggling to get back into the water.
Carlos De Leonibus, father of Catiana, began to film the dolphin as it struggled. The video was uploaded onto YouTube and reached almost 39,000 views within a couple of days. The video shows the animal struggling to get back into the water and even shows other dolphins trying to help it into the water. In the video the audience is heard in the background expressing their concern for the animal. Carlos said people were yelling, stomping their feet, and even threatening to protest.
Watching the animal struggle was enough to upset Catiana. Her family says she began to cry and became scared. Carlos told an employee about the animal, but the employee simply said “'Oh, it's just playing. They do this all the time. It is normal behavior,” said Carlos. After 10 to 15 minutes a voice came on the loudspeaker, informing the crowd that the employees were aware of the situation and it was nothing to worry about, the animals did it all the time for fun and eventually found their way back into the water. Shortly afterwards the crowd grew louder and louder and two trainers finally showed up and helped the dolphin back into the water.
Pilot whale stuck on ledge in water tank
SeaWorld did not release a statement regarding the situation but spokesperson Nick Gollattscheck told WTSP "the pilot whales come out on the ledge all the time and always get back into the deeper water without any problem. The animals seem to enjoy it" he said, "and it has no effect on their health or wellbeing. The younger and more inexperienced animals - like the one on the video - sometimes take a little longer, because they haven't completely mastered the technique yet. The whale was never in danger."
After hearing about the incident, The Huffington Post asked PETA to comment on the situation. “Audiences should be horrified by every video taken inside SeaWorld," PETA wrote in an emailed statement Monday. "Whether they show a pilot whale stranded on a concrete ledge in front of a shocked crowd, an orca killing his trainer, or intelligent, sensitive whales forced to swim day in and day out in tiny circles for a reward of dead fish, these videos are a potent reminder that SeaWorld keeps marine mammals trapped in concrete tanks that bear no resemblance to their habitat in the wild, with no room in which to swim, no family groups, and no stimulation.”