News broke in February about a baby dolphin dying due to aggressive manhandling by tourists in an Argentina Beach and people condemned the actions of the selfie-starved tourists. A witness who was present at the time the baby dolphin was supposedly passed around for selfies came forward to clear the issue and revealed that, not only was the baby dolphin dead before it was passed around, nearly two dozen dead dolphins were also washed up on the shore that day.
Apparently, the public's outraged were due to misinformation and because the Mundo Marino Foundation was quick to react on the news. However, Mundo Marino confirmed on March 2 that the witness told the truth because the foundation found 22 other Fransiscana Dolphins washed up in other beaches along the coast of Argentina and it is now being investigated.
That is not the only concern because all the dead dolphins were found to have similar strange markings on their snouts, leading the foundation to believe that there is a much larger issue at hand.
"They've appeared along 50km of coast between the towns of San Clemente del Tuyu and Mar de Ajo [...] The fact that such a large number appeared, all at once, makes us suspect that some issue in particular led to the deaths of these animals," Mundo Marino Foundation Spokesperson Gloria Veira revealed in an interview.
The foundation does not want to point fingers until it has a more definite evidence for the cetaceans' cause of death so it has contacted pathologists at the National University of La Plata to perform autopsies on the endangered creatures.
"It's estimated that there are around 40,000 members of this species, and with these death statistics it's unfortunately possible the species will no longer exist 30 years from now," Viera explained.
The Franciscana dolphin, also known as the La Plata River dolphin, easily gets dehydrated out of water which can lead to their deaths. That is why the foundation strongly urges everyone to return the creatures to the water as soon as they spot it ashore.