Last week, a young Franciscana dolphin was eliminated on a beach in Argentina as a consequence of rough handling by throngs of excited tourists. The animal, along with one more dolphin, had reportedly been yanked from the water so individuals can take photos.
Images from the scene show one of the dolphins surrounded by a crowd of beachgoers, unsafe from the hot sun.
” [Dolphins] can not remain long above water,” an environmentalist from the Vida Silvestre Foundation wrote online in response to the incident. “They have very thick and greasy skin that provides heat, so the weather will quickly cause dehydration and death.”
The group verified that at least one of the dolphins perished.
As if the death for the sake of photographs had not been troubling enough, Franciscana dolphins are listed as a “vulnerable” species, found only in the waters of southeastern South America.
Unfortunately, this would not be the first time human curiosity and self-absorption has resulted in the death of an animal at the hands of camera-wielding tourists. Perhaps it’s indicative of a growing drive to capture moments for virtual enjoyment, even at the cost of better judgment– and sometimes even innocent lives.
UPDATE: The tourist whose photographs on Facebook were originally embedded in this post has removed them. He has since stated that the dolphin was dead prior to being handled by the crowd.
In a video clip reportedly showing the animal being removed from the water, the dolphin appears listless in the surf, but not clearly deceased.