Caught on camera: Dolphin attacks trainer during show at Miami Seaquarium

A dolphin went on the attack at Miami Seaquarium and it was all captured on camera.

MIAMI – A dolphin went on the attack at Miami Seaquarium and it was all captured on camera.

It happened Saturday during the Flipper show in front of an audience of families and young children.

One of the dolphins, named Sundance, suddenly went rogue, breaking from his performance and getting violent with a trainer.

Photographer Shannon Carpenter was there with his family and saw the frightening moment happen. He shot the video and shared it on TikTok.

The audience breathed a sigh of relief when the trainer was finally able to swim to the dock, visibly shaken, but alive.

The trainer was taken away by ambulance to an area hospital, but this is just the latest in a string of incidents at the Seaquarium currently under the microscope by USDA investigators.

Though it has recently been sold and is now operated by new owners, the Mexican-based Dolphin company, many of the same trainers, vets and staff are still employed there.

Last June, the USDA released a scathing 17-page report citing numerous serious animal welfare violations at the Seaquarium, including feeding rotten fish to animals, dolphins dying and a crumbling tank where Lolita the orca has lived for 25 years.

Animal welfare group PETA responded to the incident with a statement that read:

“Time is up at 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 into sanctuaries as quickly as possible, where they’d never be used in tawdry shows again and no-one else will get hurt.”

Monday night, Miami Seaquarium sent Local 10 News a statement, which read:

“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. As a precaution, Miami-Dade County safety authorities were contacted. 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.”

12 p.m. report

A witness said children cheered while adults knew something was wrong. Some called 911 to report a dolphin had hurt a person on Saturday at the Miami Seaquarium.

About the Author:

Louis Aguirre is an Emmy-award winning journalist who anchors weekday newscasts and serves as WPLG Local 10’s Environmental Advocate.