A beached pilot whale or dolphin was filmed at SeaWorld in Florida, showing the animal apparently struggling as it was out of the water, it was reported.
“It keeps flipping. It keeps flapping. Other dolphins come to push it back in, swim around it. And it doesn’t go back in,” said Carlo De Leonibus, a spectator, according to WTSP-TV.
Several other spectators were disturbed and angered when they spotted the beached whale a week ago.
“He says, ‘Oh it’s normal. This is what they do. This is how they have fun. They’re just playing,’” a SeaWorld worker was quoted by De Leonibus as saying.
De Leonibus recored a video of the whale struggling and uploaded it to YouTube.
He said he took his daughter to SeaWorld and she saw the whale.
“She was crying at night. She was really upset. She felt that SeaWorld was going to take care of their animals,” he told the station.
SeaWorld locations in Olrando and San Diego on Friday and Saturday were met with protests.
“We are trying to raise attention to the intelligence of these animals that are being exploited for profit,” Bryan Wilson, the Central Florida coordinator for Animal Rights Foundation of Florida, told the Orlando Sentinel. “Life in captivity is known to be detrimental to their physical health and mental health.”
In San Diego, more than 150 activists protested against SeaWorld.
“We must let SeaWorld and all captive facilities know that we will not stop being a voice for these precious creatures who have lost their right to freedom, their right to live a natural life, and are now imprisoned, artificially inseminated and forced to perform ‘tricks’ for food, all for human entertainment,” Ellen Ericksen with the local Empty The Tanks group told UT San Diego.
SeaWorld Orlando issued a statement to the Sentinel: “There is no organization more passionately committed to the physical, mental and social care and well-being of animals than SeaWorld.”
“The real advocates for animals are the trainers, aviculturists, animal-care staff and veterinarians at SeaWorld,” park officials said.