With all the buzz about the documentary, “Blackfish”, SeaWorld must be feeling pretty anxious. They even hired a film publicist to help dispel what they think are myths about the movie. But while SeaWorld and their PR team are trying to convince the public that “Blackfish“ is “shamefully dishonest, deliberately misleading, and scientifically inaccurate,” a YouTube clip of a recent show at SeaWorld Orlando has gone viral, and it’s not making Sea World look good.
Carlo De Leonibus brought his wife and daughter to the theme park recently to celebrate his daughter’s 11th birthday. The aquatic performance that they were going to watch had been canceled abruptly due to lightning in the area. As the crowd, employees, and trainers were leaving the area, one of the “performers” – a pilot whale – had gotten stuck on the ledge of the pool. The whale appeared distressed, and members of the crowd noticed, screaming and shouting for someone to help. De Leonibus caught the unsettling moment on camera.
“It keeps flipping. It keeps flapping,” De Leonibus said in an interview. “Other dolphins come to push it back in, swim around it. And it doesn’t go back in.”
Unsettled by what he just witnessed, De Leonibus immediately spoke to a SeaWorld employee, who responded that the dolphin was just “playing,” having “fun,” and it was “normal” behavior. However, two trainers did eventually have to push the whale back into the tank.
“The pilot whales come out on the ledge all the time and always get back into the deeper water without any problem,” said spokesman, Nick Gollattscheck. “The animals seem to enjoy it and it has no effect on their health or well being.”
Gollatscheck also says that “younger and more inexperienced animals” are still “mastering the technique,” so it can take them a little longer to get off the ledge. He says this is the case for the whale seen in the YouTube clip. He claims the whale was never in danger and that the safety and health of the animals is one of Sea World’s top priorities.
There’s no doubt that people are still shaken up by what they witnessed and have their doubts about the statements issued from Sea World. De Leonibus said that his dolphin-loving daughter was distraught over their experience at the aquatic park.
“She was heartbroken. She was crying at night. She was really upset,” he said. “She felt that Sea World was going to take care of their animals.”
Check out the eye-opening video and let us know what you think.