Monday, February 29, 2016

Death By Selfie

A young dolphin has died of dehydration after being paraded around like a trophy and stroked by a crowd of Argentinian sunbathers who then abandoned it on the sand.

The group of people huddled around the mammal taking selfies after it was found on the beach resort of Santa Teresita in a province northeast of Buenos Aires.   Dozens of people crowded round to look at the squirming calf as they strained to touch it, and have their photos taken with it.

The La Plata dolphin (also known as the Franciscana dolphin) can live to be twenty years old.  The species is listed as vulnerable and is of particular conservation concern because of its restricted distribution and vulnerability to incidental capture in fishing gear. There are only around 30,000 animals of its kind thought to be left in the world.

The last tragic images of the individual exploited in this incident show the body, abandoned on the sand, as people continue to take pictures.

The episode has caused the Wildlife Foundation in Argentina to issue a reminder to the public regarding the vulnerable species, which is only present off the coast of Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil.

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