The selfie culture has done it once again as beachgoers in Argentina pulled out an endangered baby dolphin out of the water to take photos. If that is not appalling enough, here's what is: the poor animal was left on the sand to die.
The incident happened in a beach resort in the town of Santa Teresita, Buenos Aires. A video footage shows how one man scooped up the baby dolphin out of the water, which drew the attention of a curious mob.
After the hustle, the dolphin was just left on the sand to die. No one appeared to have shown concern or stepped up to save the dolphin. No one even attempted to return the animal back to the water.
All the people, including some children, seemed too eager to touch the animal. Some were also seen holding camera phones, most probably to take selfies.
Call For Action
The Argentine Wildlife Foundation reacted to the incident and released a statement urging the public to return dolphins back in the water in case found on the shore.
The agency acknowledged that at least one animal has died and considers the incident as a way to inform the public about the right thing to do in such circumstances.
"It is vital that people help to rescue these animals," the statement reads.
La Plata Dolphins
La Plata dolphins are among the smallest species of dolphins in the world. The animals usually measure about 1.30 to 1.70 meters (4 to 5.5 feet) long.
The dolphins are also called Franciscans because of their brown skin tones, just like the color of the habit of Franciscan monks.
La Plata dolphins are rare and only found in three countries: Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. In Argentina, the dolphins mostly settle off the coasts of Buenos Aires, where there are only about 30,000 residents or less.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature says the endangered La Plata dolphins are at risk of extinction.
The number of lost dolphins are not easily recovered. The dolphins cannot stay out of the water for too long because they have very thick and greasy skin, which gives warmth. Scooping them up from the water will quickly dehydrate the animals and cause death.
Social Media Users React
Social media users react to the incident with much disgrace. Aside from animal groups and animals lovers, ordinary citizens were not impressed with the action of the beachgoers.
— Charles Sykes (@SykesCharlie) February 18, 2016
Photo : Laura Blankenship | Flickr