A fun filled day at SeaWorld turned into a disturbing scene for many patrons when a young pilot whale floundered helplessly for nearly a half an hour despite pleas from the crowd for an employee to help.
Caught on video, it’s sparking an outrage online.
“The whale is eventually helped and ultimately was not harmed,” reports CNN’s Nischelle Turner. (WATCH TOP VIDEO)
“According to a SeaWorld spokeswoman, pilot whales come out on the ledge all the time, usually getting back in to the pool by themselves. It's the younger ones like the one in this video that they say haven't quite mastered the technique.”
SeaWorld released this statement to CNN saying, “I want to reassure you, the whale was never in danger. The safety and health of the animals in our care are among our highest priorities.”
But the video posted to YouTube comes right after the release of a new documentary that criticizes the practices at SeaWorld.
Turner says “Blackfish” cites other terrifying incidents at the park, accusing SeaWorld of putting profit before safety.
SeaWorld responded to Blackfish in this statement to CNN: “…the film fails to mention SeaWorld's commitment to the safety of its team members and guests and to the care and welfare of its animals…"
Former SeaWorld trainer John Hargrove, who took part in the film, is also critical of the park's practices. But he says “physically, the animal is not in danger in that scenario.” (WATCH VIDEO)
He says they can stay slid out for hours at a time.
“However, with that being said, the animal is definitely in distress,” Hargrove says. “And because of that, the trainers should make every move they can to get that animal back into the water as quick as fast as they can.”
"Blackfish" airs on CNN in the fall.