Baby Dolphin Dies After Humans Take Selfies With It

Beachgoers passed endangered creatures around to capture them with their phones
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 18, 2016 11:34 AM CST
Baby Dolphin Dies After Humans Take Selfies With It
Poor thing.   (Facebook)

What may have seemed like a fun, harmless photo op turned into premature death for a baby dolphin in Argentina, per Gizmodo. Buenos Aires beachgoers were spotted last week along the shores of Santa Teresita plucking a couple of baby Franciscan dolphins—a species labeled as "vulnerable to extinction" by Viva Silvestre, Argentina's partner with the Word Wildlife Fund—out of the water and passing them around for photos, the Independent reports. One man posted pictures to Facebook, which showed the dolphins "being held aloft like trophies while grinning tourists were seemingly unaware or unbothered about the animals' discomfort," the paper notes. The beachgoers' indifference to the dolphins continued after they were done: They simply put at least one down on the sand, a fatal move for the rare creature.

"The Franciscan, like other species, cannot remain for much time out of the water," per the Viva Silvestre site. "It has thick fatty skin [that] provides warmth, so the hot weather will cause rapid dehydration and death." Commenters on the Facebook post expressed their disgust. "This makes me cry and hate the human race even more," one noted. "This terribly unfortunate event is an example of the casual cruelty people can inflict when they use animals for entertainment purposes, without thinking of the animal's needs," a Viva Silvestre rep tells the ABC. "At least one of these dolphins suffered a horrific, traumatic, and utterly unnecessary death, for the sake of a few photographs. Wild animals are not toys or photo props." (The world's smallest dolphin could be gone in 15 years.)

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