A dolphin at SeaWorld snatched a guest’s iPad and dumped it in water.
A woman visiting SeaWorld was taken by surprise when a dolphin lunged out of its watery enclosure to grab her iPad.
The visitor had taken out her device to snap a picture of the dolphins, which were swimming close by the barrier of their pool.
One dolphin then raised itself out of the water to grab the iPad, and it fell into the water. The woman quickly reached into the enclosure to snatch it back.
The dolphins splashed the tourists standing around the pool for good measure.
Tori Cullins, founder and president of The Wild Dolphin Foundation in Hawaii, said the dolphin reaching for the iPad is evidence that the animal is exhibiting “abnormal behaviour” in an enclosure.
If a dolphin does interact with human beings in the wild, it is usually because that animal has been cast off from its pod, she said.
“Dolphins are very protective of their skin, its their largest sensory organ,” she explained.
“They can feel the water pressure on them and that’s how they’re able to act in tandem with other dolphins. the water pressure means they can all move as one. The fact that this animal would risk hurting or scratching its skin is abnormal.”
A spokeswoman for SeaWorld said in a statement “nothing is more important” than the safety of guests and employees and the welfare of their animals.
“Educators and animal trainers are on-site at SeaWorld’s Dolphin Cove, and provide instructions to guests regarding how to interact with our dolphins,” it read.
“Dolphins are naturally inquisitive, which is why we inform our guests to keep personal items such as iPads, cameras, jewelry and other objects away from the edge of the pool. Neither the guest nor the dolphin were at harm and we continue to communicate clearly with guests during their encounters to ensure everyone has safe and memorable experiences with our animals.”
SeaWorld and other venues have come under increasing pressure from animal rights campaigners regarding the captivity of animals such as dolphins and orca whales.
SeaWorld announced that it would end its controversial orca whale breeding program, and its 24 whales in California, Florida and Texas will be the last generation of orcas.
Monday 8th August marked the 46th year that an orca whale called Lolita has spent in captivity at Miami Seaquarium.
Jeffrey S. Overstreet