Hernan Coria/Facebook

Rare dolphin dies after beachgoers pass it around for selfies

Why are people so terrible?


Cynthia McKelvey

Internet Culture

Published Feb 18, 2016   Updated May 27, 2021, 4:56 am CDT

At least one of two rare La Plata dolphins died after beachgoers in Argentina took them ashore to snap some selfies.

The dolphin died from dehydration after people passed it around so they could take pictures with it.

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Otro animal inofensivo es víctima de los humanos, a este delfín del plata bebe, especie en peligro de extinción, lo sacaron del agua para sacarle fotos y tocarlo. Solo a personas con muy poca educación o totalmente inepta se le necesita decir que el delfín es un animal marino y que necesita agua para vivir. La ignorancia mato a este animal que podría haber vivido 20 años mas. Para que esto no pase mas deberían enseñar los derechos de los animales, debería haber algún tipo de castigo para la gente que no los respeta como lo merecen, debería ser un delito matarlos o lastimarlos igual que con los humanos porque no somos ni un poco superiores haciendo esto. Somos un nuevo enemigo para ellos como tiburones y orcas que lo hacen por necesidad. Hay que generar conciencia de esto y aprender de los errores, esto no puede seguir pasando porque cada vez que pasa hay una o mas víctimas que sufren.

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La Plata dolphins are considered vulnerable, and their population is in decline, although exact numbers remain unclear. Although they are one of the world’s smallest species of dolphins, they can live to be 20 years old and are highly intelligent.

It should go without saying that animals should not be removed from their homes—especially in the water—for the sake of a cute picture or a closer look. Doing so can not only kill the animal but also, if it is rare enough, threaten its entire species.

Even approaching animals in their natural environment can cause them stress. Over time, if enough people unintentionally traumatize an animal, such encounters can lead to death by a thousand cuts.

Researchers who study wild marine animals carefully monitor the stress levels of animals they capture and release. Even those encounters can cause some stress.

If people in boats repeatedly approach an animal, it must expend considerable energy simply trying to escape, thus burning more calories than it normally would and requiring more food than normal. Higher-than-average food intake can be a problem because a roaming mammal in the open ocean is not guaranteed a large food supply. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recommends that people keep their distance and that they don’t pursue animals they encounter in the water or on the beach.

The agency also warns people not to feed, touch, or attract any animals. Everyone should be familiar with the basics of any wildlife they might encounter on a trip. Simply Googling the location one is planning to visit often yields basic safety information that can save the life of the traveler—and that of the possibly endangered animal.

Photo by Hernan Coria/Facebook

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*First Published: Feb 18, 2016, 6:23 pm CST