At the Orlando SeaWorld, a stranded whale was caught on video. The pilot whale got stuck on the edge of a stage, causing the audience to erupt into screams. As the whale struggled, the crowd continued to call for help.
As reported by Fox News, Carlo De Leonibus witnessed and taped the incident. De Leonibus explains that the whale jumped out of the water as he and his family waited for the show to begin:
“… I realized it was in distress. I felt very concerned, so I went down and told one of the employees who just dismally responded and said ‘it’s having fun, it’s playing.’ He didn’t even bother to look at the whale.”
The trainers were reportedly away from the pool as there had been a thunderstorm with lightening.
De Leonibus states that it was at least 25 minutes before employees responded to the whale. Throughout the ordeal, the audience continued yelling and calling for someone to help.
Representatives with SeaWorld say the stranded whale was never in any danger. In an official statement they explain:
“Pilot whales come out on the ledge all the time and always get back into the deeper water without any problem. The younger animals are still inexperienced and sometimes it takes them a bit longer.”
They explain that pilot whales often become stranded several times a day. SeaWorld states the stranded whale was actually rescued last year on Labor Day. It was rescued from the beach and rehabilitated by Sea World’s animal rescue team.
The pilot whale remained with SeaWorld, as it was deemed unsuitable for release into its natural habitat.
Witnesses contend that the whale appeared to be terribly distressed, as it could not get back into the water.
Deleonbus was at the Florida park celebrating his daughter Catiana’s Birthday. He states that the incident disturbed his entire family. As reported by Huffington Post, Catiana was so upset that “she was crying all night.” She was especially disturbed because she thought SeaWorld animals were well cared for.
The SeaWorld stranded whale video has gone viral, and has upset thousands of animal lovers. While SeaWorld contends that the whale was fine, it is distressing to watch.
[Image via Flickr]