Dolphin at Miami Seaquarium Retaliates Against Trainer

A photographer capturing footage of a Saturday show at the Miami Seaquarium witnessed a rather unexpected event. According to his TikTok video, photographer Shannon Carpenter captured a dolphin turning against its trainer.

Dolphin at Miami Seaquarium Retaliates Against Trainer

In an interview with WSVN, Carpenter admits that it looked like the dolphin rammed into its trainer before she was able to exit the water. Thankfully, another trainer was able to help her out of a dangerous situation.

You can watch the footage below:


A dolphin trainer was just attacked by Flipper. Police just arrived. 🙁 #dolphinattack #miami #seaquarium

♬ original sound – SCPhoto_KY

The video shows the trainer attempting to swim away as the dolphin begins to act aggressively. The dolphin hits the trainer several times before she makes it to safety. 

The trainer appears shaken up as another trainers talks with her. The third trainer continues on with the performance.

Carpenter revealed in the comments section of his post that the attack occurred about 10 minutes into the 30 minutes show. The trainer was taken to the hospital in an ambulance after the show.

“[It] looked like the dolphin rammed into the trainer,” Carpenter told WSVN. “There was a struggle, some kind of collision underwater happened.” 

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“The lady on the paddleboard, she paddled out of the water pretty quick, and then the lead trainer started swimming back towards the dock, and it looked like she got ran into a couple more times.”

Carpenter said children in attendance didn’t pick up on the fact the trainer was in danger but the adults in the audience did. “The kids were cheering, thinking this was neat. You could tell the adults knew something was wrong.”

While talking with Newsweek, Naomi A Rose, a Marine Mammal Scientist at the Animal Welfare Institute, says she’s sure there was a reason for the dolphin’s behavior. It is likely that the dolphin was trying to communicate its frustration with the trainer.

Rose says dolphins “rarely do anything accidentally.” Even if the trainer was in the wrong place at the wrong time, the dolphin would have likely been able to avoid a collision,” Rose admitted.

“[This] is more concerning—ramming is done with the rostrum, which is very strong and rigid, and is how dolphins repel sharks. They can break ribs or kill people doing this.” Rose continued to tell Newsweek. “I say this because the trainer seemed to be moved through the water very rapidly by an external force—there was that sudden rise out of the water (as if the dolphin came up underneath the trainer) and then that sharp left turn, which a human wouldn’t be able to execute by swimming.”

As Newsweek reports, many experts believe dolphins cannot be domesticated even though 3,000 dolphins are held in captivity all over the world. In a statement given to WPLG, the aggression began because the trainer and dolphin “accidentally collided.”

“This was an uncomfortable interaction for both of them and the dolphin reacted by breaking away from the routine and striking the trainer,” the statement said. It said safety authorities were then contacted “as a precaution.”

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