A young endangered Franciscana dolphin died after it was pulled from the water and passed around by beachgoers for selfies and other photos. Video of the incident, which you can watch above, emerged Thursday, showing the crowd lifting the baby dolphin into the air.
According to Sky News, the incident occurred last week at a beach resort in Santa Tersita, Argentina.
There are only about 30,000 of the Franciscana dolphins left in the world. The Argentina Wildlife Foundation issued a reminder to the public that the dolphins are extremely vulnerable.
Photos were posted to Facebook by a man named Hernan Coria, who said it was the second dolphin of the day to be pulled from the ocean.“The Franciscana, like other species, cannot remain for much time outside of the water, it has thick fatty skin which gives it heat and means that taking it out of the water rapidly causes it to dehydrate and die,” the Argentine Wildlife Foundation said in a statement. “This occasion serves to inform the public about the urgent necessity to return these dolphins to the sea as soon as possible if they find them on the shore. It is fundamental that people help to rescue these animals, because every Franciscana counts now.” The Franciscana dolphin, also called the La Plata dolphin, is one of the smallest in the world, according to the wildlife foundation. It got its name because its brown skin is said to be reminiscent of Franciscan monks.
The graphic video below shows the baby dolphin on the beach after it died:
The death of the baby dolphin has angered animal lovers around the world.
“In their efforts to get a novelty ‘selfie,’ these holidaymakers showed a naïve – and ultimately fatal – disregard for life by hauling this baby dolphin out of the sea, where he or she belonged,” PETA said in a statement to Metro. “One can only imagine the trauma suffered not only by this baby, who was passed around like a toy by marauding tourists, but also his or her grieving mother.”