'Stranded' SeaWorld pilot whale video: Theme park denies YouTube allegation that whale was in danger
SeaWorld: Behavior was normal
8:46 AM, Jul 30, 2013
1:32 PM, Jul 30, 2013
A video of what appeared to be a beached pilot whale at SeaWorld recently went viral.
A visitor to the theme park posted the video which seems to show a helpless animal on its back.
The poster wrote: The Cove Dolphin (pilot whale) was stuck for about ten minutes before I went and told a seaworld employee in a dark blue shirt who said it was normal and that it was fine, playing etc. I went back to the bleachers and began recording. What I saw, changed my view of SeaWorld forerver (sic). The crowd becomes furious, yelling to save the dolphin. After an additional 10-15 minutes after my recording they sent two dolphin trainers in to push the dolphin back in.
WESH.com SeaWorld said the behavior was normal for the whale.
WESH.com posted the following statement from SeaWorld:
"The safety of guests and employees and the welfare of our animals are SeaWorld's highest priorities. The pilot whale shown in the video is not stranded or beached on the ledge at SeaWorld Orlando's whale and dolphin stadium. The whale was never in danger. This is social and play behavior our trainers see daily and sometimes hourly by the pilot whales. If you listen closely the trainer on microphone is trying to tell the audience just that.
This whale was beached and stranded when it was saved by our animal rescue team last Labor Day weekend in South Florida. After it was rescued and rehabilitated, it was deemed un-releasable by the federal government.
The younger and more inexperienced animals - like the one on the video - sometimes take a little longer to find their way back to the water because they haven't completely mastered the technique yet. When this happens the animal is constantly monitored by our animal trainers. The whale was never in danger. In fact, the pilot whales are trained to swim onto the ledge so we can monitor their growth and give them veterinary care."