Baby dolphin dies after beachgoers pass it around for selfies

By Kirstin Buick
18 February 2016

A young dolphin died after being passed from person to person on an Argentinian beach so that they could take photographs.

A video obtained by Sky News shows how the tiny animal was caught in the shallows at Santa Teresita in the north-eastern Buenos Aires Province.

According to The Dodo, another dolphin was also yanked from the surf.

The spectacle drew a massive crowd of tourists who wanted to touch the animal and pose for photos.

Unsurprisingly, the dolphin became overheated and died from being out of the water for so long.

Shockingly, beachgoers continued to take snaps with the dead animal.

Eventually it was left  lying in the sand.

UPDATE: The tourist who shared photos of the dolphin on Facebook, Hernan Coria, said the dolphin was already dead when people started taking photos. 

"Everything happened in five minutes,"  he told local news outlet Telefe Noticias. "It was washed up already dead. They took it back to the water but it wouldn’t go back out."

The dolphin was a La Plata or Franciscana dolphin, the UK news outlet reports, which is classified as "vulnerable" -- there are only an estimated 30 000 left in the world.

"The Franciscana, like other species, cannot remain for much time outside of the water," The Argentine Wildlife Foundation said in a statement after the dreadful incident.

"It has thick fatty skin which gives it heat and means that taking it out of the water rapidly causes it to dehydrate and die."

"This occasion serves to inform the public about the urgent necessity to return these dolphins to the sea as soon as possible if they find them on the shore.

"It is fundamental that people help to rescue these animals, because every Franciscana counts now."

Sources: Sky News, MailOnline, The Dodo, The Guardian

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