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Baby dolphin accidentally killed by tourists taking selfies

/ 05:12 PM January 27, 2017
MOTHER dolphin “Vi” and her calf while nursing. After two weeks, the first dolphin calf born in captivity in the country died of an infection. Ocean Adventure officials said the mother dolphin could get pregnant and give birth again in three years,  “with better chances.” PHOTO FROM OCEAN ADVENTURE

Dolphin mother and child. File photo

In a tragic turn of events, a baby dolphin died in a beach in Argentina after being mobbed by unsuspecting tourists for photographs or “selfies”.

According to Argentina newspaper La Capital, several tourists were seen dragging the magnificent creature near the shore in San Bernardino, about 200 miles south of Buenos Aires.

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As seen in a blurry video posted by local media C5N on Twitter, the overzealous beachgoers huddled around the seemingly immobile baby dolphin, touching and petting it. Several witnesses even claimed that others stood above and kneeled around the small creature, the report said.

“They let him die,” one observer told La Capital, as relayed by National Geographic. “He was young and came to the shore. They could have returned him to the water—in fact, he was breathing. But everyone started taking photos and touching him. They said he was already dead.”

Meanwhile, the unfortunate ordeal is not the first time a hapless sea creature lost its life due to unruly tourists, as another young dolphin also passed away due to similar circumstances last year.  The poor animal was reportedly passed around multiple times until it died of dehydration.

In a separate report, National Geographic addressed the impact of today’s social media to tourists and the need to document such encounters—which oftentimes become harmful for different forms of wildlife.

“Social media has changed the landscape, making exotic animals seem adorable and acceptable, but what you don’t see is the suffering that lies behind the images,” the journal wrote.

Furthermore, such images and videos put the animals at risk by heightening their appeal as pets. Selfie-taking with the animals can also be potentially hazardous to humans, as the practice can lead to the impression that it’s safe to approach these animals in the wild. Khristian Ibarrola/rga

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TAGS: Argentina, baby dolphin, death, Dolphins, San Bernardino beach, selfies, Social Media, unruly tourists
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