Miami Seaquarium — Courtesy: Shutterstock — Al Calvillo
KEY BISCAYNE, FLA. — During a Miami Seaquarium show on Saturday, a trained dolphin attacked a female trainer, leading to an apparent injury. A viral video captured the shocking moment during the Seaquarium’s Dolphin Flipper Show.
An audience member captured the scary footage and posted it to TikTok shortly after, noting that the attack took place approximately 10 minutes into the show. The trainer splashed around in the pool for help, but it quickly became clear that the interaction was not a part of the routine.
“It looked like the dolphin rammed into the trainer,” audience member Shannon Carpenter told local television station Channel 7 News. “There was a struggle; some kind of collision underwater happened. The lady on the paddleboard, she paddled out of the water pretty quick, and then the lead trainer started swimming back towards the dock, and it looked like she got ran into a couple more times.”
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue responded after the trainer swam to the dock, where she was then checked by first responders. The trainer’s injuries have not been revealed to the public.
The Seaquarium addressed the incident on Tuesday in a public statement. They made sure to note that this was the first major collision between a trainer and a dolphin. They reiterated that the show would be adjusted to ensure employee and animal safety moving forward.
“A trainer accidentally scratched the dolphin, Sundance, with her hand,” the statement read. “This was undoubtedly painful to Sundance, who reacted by breaking away from the routine and swimming towards and striking the trainer. Both Sundance and the trainer are recovering well.”
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) released a statement addressing the dangers of dolphin shows and directly addressed the incident.
“Time is up for the Miami Seaquarium, where long-suffering dolphins desperately need protection and workers are at risk,” the organization’s statement read. “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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Born and raised in South Florida, Krystal is a recent graduate from the University of Miami with professional writing experience at the collegiate and national news outlet levels. She’s a foodie who loves all things travel, the beach, & visiting new places throughout Florida.