‘That’s not training, it’s beating’: Horror as trainer is caught on camera slapping and kicking two beluga whales after they failed to kiss him for a stunt
- Trainer Dmitry Bachinsky, 32, caught hitting animals at aquarium in Vladivostok
- Footage shows Bachinsky training whales Nil and Lear to kiss him during a stunt
- When belugas refuse, he hits one of them in the head and then kicks the other
- Video caused outrage after being leaked, with one calling behaviour ‘barbaric’
An animal trainer in far eastern Russia has been caught on film hitting and kicking two beluga whales – causing a fierce backlash.
Dmitry Bachinsky, 32, who works at the Primorsky Oceanarium in Vladivostok, was caught on film lashing out at two whales, named Nil and Lear.
According to animal rights campaigners, Bachinsky was attempting to teach the animals a trick where they both kiss him at the time of the attack.
Dmitry Bachinsky, 32, a trainer at an aquarium in Vladivostok, eastern Russia, was caught on CCTV hitting a beluga whale called Nil for refusing to take part in a stunt
When both animals refused to take part in the stunt, he hit one and kicked the other, the group Freedom for Killer Whales and Belugas said.
‘On the left is a 12-year-old beluga whale called Nil and Bachinsky punches him,’ the group alleged.
‘On the right is a 13-year-old male beluga whale called Lear. Bachinsky kicks Lear.’
The statement went on: ‘Sources claim that Bachinsky practises such methods regularly.’
Animals rights campaigners say this is not the first time that Bachinsky has used such ‘training’ methods
But a source at Primorsky Oceanarium in Vladivostok told PrimaMedia that the captive whales often show aggression towards each other during mating period.
The trainer’s actions were aimed at switching the attention of the aggressive animal, it was claimed.
The oceanarium denied the whales were wounded.
But Dmitry Lisitsyn, from Sakhalin Ekovahta, said: ‘These are abnormal methods, barbaric, and in law this amounts to cruelty to animals.
‘This is not training, but beating.’
The incident was on 5 May but has only just come to light.
There have been previous cases of concern at the oceanarium on Russia’s Pacific coast.
In 2017, a beluga whale died after getting entangled in nets.
In another accident a trainer was fired after beating a walrus.
In addition, three white-barrel dolphins, a sea lion, two walruses and a beluga whale died in the aquarium.
Bachinsky was also shown kicking a second whale called Lear (pictured), though the aquarium argued he was actually trying to stop ‘aggressive’ behaviour