The obsession with selfies just hit a new low as a baby dolphin died after tourists on a beach in southern Spain passed it around in order to take photographs with it.
The dolphin lost its mother and was washed up in shallow waters off the coast of Mojacar in Andalucia, Spain. Tourists got excited with the mammal’s sudden appearance and flocked to examine it. Instead of helping it to get back into deep water, they stared clicking pictures with it.
Equinac, a local NGO, blamed the tourists for the dolphin’s death and said “selfishness” caused the dolphin “suffering and stress.”
“Once again we find that the human beings are the most irrational species that exists. Many are unable to feel empathy for a living being alone, scared, starving, without his mother and terrified because many of you, in your selfishness, only want to photograph and touch it, even if the animal suffers from stress,” the NGO wrote on Facebook.
They organization further said, “Cetaceans are animals very susceptible to stress, and their manipulation, crowding them to take pictures and touch them, causes them a very strong shock that greatly accelerates a cardiorespiratory failure, which is what finally happened.”
Equinac rescuers arrived at the scene as soon as the NGO was informed by a concerned beach-goer. The calf had already died by the time they arrived.
The NGO then took custody of the mammal’s corpse and will perform an necropsy.
The nonprofit organization also warned that disturbing a protected species of dolphin is a criminal offense.
“These animals are highly protected; to disturb them, to harm them, to manipulate them and to harass them is prohibited by law, and we always ask for respect and consideration,” said the organization.
A similar incident took place in January when tourists in Argentina dragged a baby dolphin, which had the misfortune of coming too near the shore, for the chance at an Instagram-worthy photo. The tourists crowded the hapless animal. However, once they were done amusing themselves, they left the poor creature to die on the hot sand, according to one observer.
That's the problem with people these days they're more concerned about selfies to post on Instagram then others that surround them— Chris W (@wolancgates) August 16, 2017
Can't believe how irresponsible some people are. Shame on them.— Yvette Canepa (@canepa_yvette) August 16, 2017
Oh wow terrible man!— Zacharias A. (@ZachariasA5) August 16, 2017
Is there no end to the stupidity of these tourists? Local tourist board could be more proactive too in preventing this cruelty #Almeria— Zipzta (@Zipzta) August 16, 2017
What is wrong with these people??— Maria Beale (@beale_maria) August 17, 2017
Banner/Thumbnail: Gary Cameron, Reuters