SeaWorld Faces Criticism After Video Release Shows Dolphin Hurt, Bleeding At Park

SeaWorld Criticized After Video Release Shows Dolphin Hurt, Bleeding At Park

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is firing more criticism at SeaWorld after video was uncovered showing a hurt and bleeding dolphin at the park's Texas location, just days after another recording showed a pilot whale stuck on the ledge of a pool with no immediate help.

PETA published the video of the hurt dolphin on its website Monday. In the footage, a dolphin can be seen lying injured and bleeding on the concrete beside a pool at the SeaWorld in San Antonio, Texas.

PETA media coordinator David Perle told The Huffington Post that a whistleblower gave the video to the organization.

The incident happened while a tour group was feeding the dolphins before the park opened to the public, PETA said in a statement. The dolphin was hurt after it crashed into another dolphin during a trick and was thrown from the tank. Passersby can be seen in the video looking at the injured sea creature as they walked past. One can be heard saying "Aw, poor guy," as the dolphin lay moaning on the ground.

When contacted by HuffPost, SeaWorld director of communications Brian Carter said in an emailed statement that the incident happened last summer and the dolphin is "doing fine."

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.

PETA confirmed to HuffPost that the organization knew the dolphin was hurt last July, but that the incident had not yet been publicly reported.

PETA council member Jared Goodman said the eyewitness who shot the video told him that only one SeaWorld employee was present during the accident and poured water on the dolphin. Guests attempted to help, but the dolphin was too heavy and they were asked to leave the area, he said. Interns reportedly arrived and helped the employee. SeaWorld personnel told PETA the dolphin was taken to a holding pool to recover, Goodman said.

The recording surfaced just days after park attendee Carlo De Leonibus took a video of a pilot whale stuck on the ledge of a pool at SeaWorld's Orlando park. De Leonibus wrote in the caption of his video that it took approximately 25 minutes before two trainers pushed the animal back into the water.

Nick Gollattscheck, a SeaWorld representative, told HuffPost that pilot whales often jump onto pool ledges and that the animal was never in any danger.

But Goodman disagrees.

"These two videos that have surfaced this week show dolphins at SeaWorld are not only at risk while held captive in tanks and forced to beg for food and do tricks, but they are also harmed when they come out of them," he said.

"These videos suggest they don't have enough personnel or adequately trained people," he continued. "With an abusive organization like SeaWorld, there are going to be problems and they are going to come to the surface. And you will see that as more and more people come forward."

Protests against SeaWorld have flared in the wake of the July 19 debut of "Blackfish," a documentary about the treatment of orca whales at SeaWorld and the death of trainer Dawn Brancheau, who was killed by a SeaWorld whale in 2010. Filmmaker Gabriela Cowperthwaite told CNN that Brancheau sparked her interest in the issue of sea mammals in captivity at theme parks.

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