Baby Dolphin Dies After Beachgoers Pull It From Water For Selfies
The incident was detailed in several Facebook posts from Equinac, a Spanish marine wildlife conservation group.
The organization said the dolphin was stranded on the beach when a mob of "curious" people quickly gathered to touch it and to take photos of it rather than seek help for it.
A concerned beachgoer eventually called for emergency services, but the dolphin died before rescuers got to the scene.
"Once again we note that the human being is the most irrational species that exists," Equinac wrote on Facebook.
"There are many [who are] incapable of empathy for a living being that is alone, scared, starved, without his mother and terrified ... All you want to do is to photograph and poke, even if the animal suffers from stress."
The dolphin might have been sick before it was spotted by humans. However, Equinac said that just the act of handling and photographing it might have caused "a very high stress state" and for it to go into shock.
Two similar incidents happened in Argentina last year. Last year, beachgoers pulled out a young Franciscana dolphin for photos. It happened again to another baby dolphin in January.
"While traveling, tourists must remember that their once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity with a wild animal can mean horrific suffering—and in this case, a tragic death for this poor animal," Neil D'Cruze, World Animal Protection's senior wildlife advisor, told EcoWatch in a statement about the latest dolphin death.
"Using wild animals for entertainment, including catching them to take selfies, is wrong, often illegal, and causes great distress to animals. Wild animals are not photo props. They should be left to live free in the wild where they belong."
World Animal Protection has issued a
travel guide on how to best interact with animals in their natural habitat.