A rare dolphin species that washed up on shore in Argentina allegedly died after beachgoers took selfies with it.
In a video shot at Santa Teresita beach, south of Buenos Aires in Argentina last week, a dolphin can be seen being passed between the crowd and pictures being taken. The dolphin reportedly died due to overheating after it was washed ashore and taken out of water by a tourist. Later it was left stranded on the sand.
Hernan Coria, who was at the beach, posted pictures on Facebook showing two dolphins being held by tourists like a trophy, clearly ignorant of the deed. Later he deleted the pictures from Facebook and told the local media that the dolphin was dead before it was taken out. “Everything happened in five minutes. It was washed up already dead. They took it back to the water but it wouldn’t go back out,” he was quoted as saying.
The incident led Wildlife Foundation of Argentina to issue a release stating that this species of dolphin, the Franciscana or La Plata, is very rare. In fact, only 30,000 of them are believed to be left in the world so the foundation has urged “people to return these dolphins to sea”.
“It’s fundamental that people help rescue these animals because every Franciscan has value,” it added.