The beaches of Argentina are a tourist hotspot, known as a great place for relaxing and soaking up the rays. However, a crowd of tourists got overzealous last week at the opportunity to take selfies with a baby dolphin, and the result was disastrous. After being plucked from the ocean and manhandled by tourists, along with another dolphin, the dolphin suffered from dehydration and died.
People have a deep love affair with the intelligent, friendly looking ocean mammals, but last week’s tragedy is an example of what happens when throngs of tourists lose their collective minds. Dolphins live in the water because they can thrive there, unharmed by intense sun and heat. When removed from the water, especially at such a young age, the expiration on a dolphin’s life starts ticking like a time bomb. The same thick, greasy skin that keeps them warm in the cool water makes them especially prone to dehydration. For this young dolphin, those conditions combined with rough handling led to its demise.
The baby dolphin who perished is a Franciscana dolphin, also known as La Plata River dolphin – a rare species that only lives off the coast of southeastern South America. They are listed as a “vulnerable” species, but it seems unlikely that any of the tourists will face charges for their part in the dolphin’s death.
Last week’s incident was captured in a series of photos by beachgoer Hernan Coria, who posted the shots on his Facebook page. His post has been shared over 2,700 times since it went up Feb 10, and has amassed hundreds of comments from people around the globe who are angry and frustrated by the mistreatment of the sea creatures.
Via The Dodo
Images via Hernan Coria