Footage of a dolphin attacking a trainer during a show at the Miami Seaquarium was posted to TikTok over the weekend, leaving viewers horrified by what marine abusement parks desperately try to conceal from the public.
The Miami Seaquarium released a statement claiming that the incident shown in the video above was a result of the trainer “accidentally [scratching] the dolphin,” who reacted by “breaking away from the routine.” But Dr. Jenna Wallace, a former Miami Seaquarium veterinarian, begs to differ: “There’s no accidental collision. This is aggression.” Wallace also said that previous veterinarians and staff had told her that this dolphin had “rammed another trainer in the abdomen.” (Sound familiar?)
Wallace says that she has seen Miami Seaquarium’s history of dishonesty firsthand. About her time working there, she said, “I witnessed them lying to—like my superiors and the curators—lying to the inspectors right in front of me, and so I provided the evidence, the written documentation, the photos, the videos that say no, no, no, this is the truth.”
As long as our fellow animals are stuck in these desolate conditions, incidents like this will continue to happen.
The attack made headlines, but it shouldn’t be shocking that dolphins and other animals confined in marine parks—which imprison them in small concrete tanks and force them to interact with humans—could inevitably act out of frustration or in defense. What’s really shocking is the fact that marine parks like the Miami Seaquarium condemn these animals to a life of suffering and miserable confinement in the first place.
This event is just one of many reasons why our fellow animals don’t belong at the Miami Seaquarium.
Just recently, three animals died—including Catalina the dolphin (the third dolphin to die of apparent trauma sustained at the Miami Seaquarium since 2019 ), a harbor seal named Coral who died of a chronic infection, and a manatee who died from starvation. A previous U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspection report revealed that the Miami Seaquarium repeatedly ignored its own veterinarian’s instructions, housed dolphins in pools containing injuriously high levels of chlorine and parasites, housed incompatible animals together, leading to injuries and the death of two dolphins, and more. These serious violations sparked an ongoing full-blown USDA investigation into the crummy facility.
The attack on a Miami Seaquarium trainer proves, yet again, what PETA has said all along: Our fellow animals don’t belong there.
Help Animals Still Trapped at the Miami Seaquarium
Bottlenose dolphins spend time with their families, swim vast distances, and explore new territories in their natural habitats, where they can live for a minimum of 40 years . At least 100 dolphins have died at the Miami Seaquarium, many short of their natural life expectancy. In just over a year between 2019 and 2020, six animals died at the facility, including two bottlenose dolphins who died from trauma-related causes and a bottlenose dolphin who drowned after becoming caught in a net. These intelligent, social animals deserve better—and you can help them.
Please join PETA in asking the Miami-Dade state attorney to investigate the Miami Seaquarium for cruelty to animals: