Video captured a scary moment between a dolphin and a trainer at the Miami Seaquarium over the weekend, CBS Miami reports.
It happened Saturday in front of a crowd during a performance of the Flipper Dolphin Show. A cell phone video shows the trainer struggling to stay afloat as the dolphin, Sundance, dragged her underwater and then pushed her forward.
The Seaquarium completed its investigation, which found the trainer accidentally scratched Sundance with her hand.
According to the Seaquarium, it was likely painful for the dolphin and it broke away and then swam back toward the trainer.
“A dolphin and trainer accidentally collided in the water on Saturday while performing a routine behavior as part of the Flipper Show. This was an uncomfortable interaction for both of them and the dolphin reacted by breaking away from the routine and striking the trainer,” according to a statement from the Miami Seaquarium.
The trainer, who didn’t suffer any serious injuries, was able to make it out of the water.
“Our family extends to include the animals in our care, our team members and our guests. While there is no apparent serious injury, a careful watch and follow-up evaluations will ensure the best care for all,” according to the statement.
The dolphin was not injured.
PETA, which has tried for years to have the Seaquarium set Lolita the orca free, decried the incident.
“Time is up for the Miami Seaquarium, where long-suffering dolphins desperately need protection and workers are at risk. 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,” said PETA Foundation General Counsel for Animal Law Jared Goodman in a statement.
Earlier this month, Lolita was retired after being on display and performing for nearly 50 years.
The USDA granted MS Leisure Company Inc. – owner of the Miami Seaquarium – an exhibitor’s license under the condition it no longer displayed Lolita and Lii, a white-sided dolphin.