A video of a pilot whale, seemingly stranded out of the water on the edge of its pool, has gone viral and animal lovers are demanding answers from SeaWorld.
The incident was caught on video by a family that went to the Orlando park to celebrate their 11-year-old dolphin-loving daughter's birthday.
It had started to rain and there was lightning so the trainers interrupted the show to take shelter while the animals remained in their pool and the audience remained in their under-cover seats.
That’s when the family with the camera and hundreds of others noticed that one of the pilot whales – a member of the dolphin family — appeared stuck on a ledge.
The man said, “The crowd was in a rage, in an uproar. Some of them were stomping their feet.”
Meanwhile, other pilot whales approached the one on the ledge, appearing to try to help it.
This occurred numerous times as the audience became more agitated and children cried.
Nearly 20 minutes passed before two trainers came out and pushed the pilot whale back in, but a Seaworld rep insists that the animal was never in danger.
The rep said the pilot whales often end up on the ledge and seem to enjoy it but that some of the “younger and more inexperienced animals – like the one on the video – sometimes take a little longer, because they haven’t completely mastered the technique yet.”
The video has had thousands of views and is causing a new headache for SeaWorld, now under attack in the new documentary "Blackfish" about how the park’s killer whales are kept and trained.