SeaWorld: Florida park's pilot whale in viral video acting normally

July 30, 2013 at 5:32 PM
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ORLANDO, Fla., July 30 (UPI) -- SeaWorld in Orlando, Fla., says a video that has gone viral on YouTube showing a pilot whale apparently beached actually shows normal pilot whale behavior.

The park released a statement to WESH-TV in Orlando that said the whale was "not stranded or beached." SeaWorld said the whale captured in the video was young and may have had a harder time wriggling off a ledge than older, more experienced whales.

"This is social play or behavior our trainers see daily," SeaWorld said.

The video was captured by a Tampa-area man who said many in the crowd, including his 11-year-old daughter, were upset by what they saw. His video shows a whale on a ledge wriggling.

Eventually two trainers did help the pilot whale, a variety of dolphin, back into the water.

SeaWorld has also been under fire with the release of "Blackfish," a documentary about the death of one of its trainers at the hands of a killer whale. Many critics now say killer whales, one of the most popular attractions at marine parks like SeaWorld, should not be kept in captivity, where the stress causes them to be far more aggressive than they are at sea.

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