MIAMI — A trainer was sent to the hospital after a performance at Miami Seaquarium went wrong.
A video posted to TikTok shows part of the Flipper Show performance at the aquarium. The video shows a dolphin suddenly turning violent, breaking from the performance and appearing to pull a trainer under the water.
“The one trainer that was furthest away in the video, either kept getting hit by the dolphin or pulled down by the dolphin,” photographer Shannon Carpenter, who took the video, told WPLG. “The kids were cheering and thinking this was neat. You could tell the adults knew something was wrong.”
In a statement to WFOR, Miami Seaquarium 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.” Miami Seaquarium said neither the trainer nor the dolphin was seriously injured.
Miami Seaquarium has been the subject of scrutiny before, with the United States Department of Agriculture releasing a 17-page report in June 2021 that cited serious animal welfare violations at the facility, WPLG reported.
In a statement addressing the incident, animal rights group PETA 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.”
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