It’s no shock to see tourists taking photos with the wildlife around them, wanting to make memories that will last them a lifetime. However, it was only recently that this need for photography caused the death of a baby dolphin, which died after being passed around for selfies by various beach-goers in Argentina.
The baby dolphin being passed around in the video above was a Franciscana dolphin, a species listed as “vulnerable”. According to reports, it, along with a separate dolphin, was pulled out of the water so that a crowd of people at the beach could take selfies with it.
One of the images of the dolphin being surrounded by a group of beach-goers with their self phones out recently went viral on social media, and was condemned by users writing comments as well as experts alike. One environmentalist from the Vida Silvestre Foundation responded to the event online, explaining the reason the dolphin died.
“[Dolphins] cannot remain long above water,” they wrote. “They have very thick and greasy skin that provides warmth, so the weather will quickly cause dehydration and death.”
This isn’t the first time that eager tourists with a camera took snapshots of threatened species at the animal’s expense. There have been many reports of beach-goers pulling smaller sharks out of shallow water to get a picture with it, often causing the shark to die in the process. One recent incident saw a man pull a sea turtle out of the water to take pictures with it, which caused the turtle to suffer a serious head injury.