The trainer, who works at the Dubai Dolphinarium tourist attraction in the United Arab Emirates, can be seen sitting on the marine mammal’s back for about six seconds before it manages to get into the nearby pool.
Animal experts have criticised the woman’s actions and suggested that she could have caused the poor creature serious harm.
Dolphins are unable to support their own body weight outside of the water, therefore adding extra weight by sitting on the dolphin’s back when it isn’t submerged in water can cause damage to their organs.
That’s before we get to the question of whether dolphins should be kept in places like this and forced to train and perform.
Animal rights campaigners have identified two trainers who they claim to be responsible for the video. Both have now deleted their social media accounts.
The Dubai Dolphinarium released a statement that confirmed that an investigation has begun, but refused to comment further.
They said: “The management is investigating the video. We cannot talk about the video while the investigation is ongoing.”
The woman can be seen sitting on the dolphin for nearly six seconds. Credit: Instagram
Dr Elsayed Mohammad, who is a Regional Director at the International Fund for Animal Welfare, told Gulf News: “It is well known that the body of dolphins is very sensitive.
“The dolphin’s body is not adaptable to any pressure outside water. Pressing the abdomen of the dolphin to the floor can easily harm its internal organs.
“If you punch the abdomen of a person, you can imagine how painful it is.
“Regardless of whether it’s a few seconds or not, it’s wrong. It is animal cruelty.”
The Dubai Dolphinarium is a very popular tourist attraction in the UAE and uses dolphins and seals to perform tricks in a circus-style show each day.
Animal rights campaigners want all captive sea mammal shows ended. Credit: PA
As well as a 45-minute-long daily show, tourists can pay extra to swim with the dolphins as well as other interactions. That means that people hang from the dolphin’s dorsal fin as it pulls them around a pool.
Needless to say, animal rights campaigners are working to make all captive marine mammal shows – many also involve orca whales – history.
Virgin Holidays recently stopped offering package holidays to resorts that use captive animals shows such as SeaWorld.
SeaWorld is to end it’s captive orca breeding programme. Credit: PA
SeaWorld itself recently put an end to captive whale shows and announced that their captive breeding programme was to end following public outcry.