In the wake of the documentary “Blackfish,” SeaWorld has faced a lot of bad press. A lot. SeaWorld, which refused to give their side of the story in the film, even got desperate enough to contact film critics who had seen “Blackfish,” and hire a PR team to fight back against what they have called a “dishonest movie.”
Now, the release of two videos taken at their parks have sparked even more outrage. Just days ago, a pilot whale became stuck on the ledge outside of a pool at SeaWorld Orlando. The incident was caught on film by Carlo De Leonibus who was there to celebrate his daughter’s 11th birthday. The show was cancelled due to lightning, and as the crowd was leaving, they noticed the pilot whale out on the ledge. Angry audience members yelled to SeaWorld staff to help the terrified whale who was flipping around on the ground, trying to get back into the water. The pilot whale was reportedly on the ledge for 25 minutes before staff came to help. The only ones who came to help before that? The other pilot whales.
SeaWorld responded by claiming that was all just a pilot whale having some fun. The second video released in the past couple of days is a little bit harder for them to try to justify.
According to Huffington Post, this video was taken last year at SeaWorld San Antonio and sent to PETA by a whistleblower. The footage shows an injured, bleeding dolphin writhing on the concrete next to a pool. You can hear the dolphin’s distressed calls. PETA reports that the incident happened while overnight guests fed the dolphins as part of a special tour before opening to the public. “Eyewitnesses report that two dolphins who performed a jumping trick crashed into each other, resulting in one dolphin getting thrown onto the concrete walkway below. The dolphin was bleeding and helpless as guests looked on.” Guests were reportedly asked to leave the pool area, and were later told only that “the dolphin had been taken to a holding pool to recover.”
SeaWorld responded with this statement to the Huffington Post: “The incident documented in the latest video being trafficked by PETA occurred more than a year ago at SeaWorld San Antonio, and the dolphin involved is healthy and doing fine today Our zoological staff moved quickly to assist the dolphin, he was examined by our staff veterinarian, and he was back in the water in less than 30 minutes. The dolphin experienced only a minor abrasion in the incident and no other injuries. There is no higher priority for SeaWorld than the safety of guests and staff and the welfare of our animals.”
Watch the video below.