A picture is worth a thousand words, they say, but this one will forever carry the weight of a human life.
An enthusiastic crowd of tourists last week killed a young Franciscana dolphin on an Argentine beach. Reportedly, the animal and another dolphin were dragged out of the water and held still as tourists snapped photos.
Images from the scene show one of the dolphins in danger from the blazing sun as it is encircled by a large group of beachgoers.
A conservationist from the Vida Silvestre Foundation responded to the occurrence online by saying, ” [Dolphins] can not remain above water for long. “Their thick, oily skin keeps them warm, but the cold and wind will quickly dehydrate and kill them.”
At least one of the dolphins was confirmed to have died by the group.
Franciscana dolphins are a “vulnerable” species since they are only found in the oceans of southern South America, as if their killing for photographic purposes wasn’t bad enough.
This would sadly not be the first occasion that tourists with cameras have killed an animal out of curiosity and ego. Perhaps it’s a sign of the times that people will do everything, even risk innocent lives, to get the perfect photo or video to share online.
UPDATE: The traveler whose Facebook photos were included here has since removed them. He then claimed that the dolphin was already dead when people started touching it.
A video clip purportedly documenting the animal’s removal from the ocean shows a listless dolphin in the waves.