How far are you willing to go for a selfie? Is it worth the death of a baby dolphin to get a few more double-taps?
Apparently yes, for a group of tourists in southern Spain who found the stranded, terrified calf on a beach in Mojácar.
The beachgoers proceeded to stroke the mammal and take pictures with it after it got separated from its mother and ended up in shallow water.
Equinac, a local wildlife group, has condemned the incident, writing on their Facebook page: “Humans are the most irrational animal there is. Many people are unable to feel empathy for a living being which is frightened, starving hungry, without its mother and terrified.
“In their selfishness, all they want is to photograph it and touch it, even if the animal is suffering from stress.”
Equinac rescuers rushed to save the dolphin after someone on the beach called an emergency number, but by the time they arrived, it was too late.
“The photographs showed children touching the animal, unintentionally covering the spiracle. It’s not an animal for children or adults to caress,” the group wrote.
“Cetaceans are very susceptible to stress, and crowding round it to take photos and to touch it causes them a big shock which greatly accelerates a cardiorespiratory failure, which is what happened.
“We’re not saying that the bathers were responsible for it becoming stranded. It became stranded because it was sick or because it lost its mother, without whom it cannot survive. But crowding round to photograph and touch it of course causes these animals to become extremely stressed,” the post continued.
This isn’t the first time such a horrible, heartbreaking and frustrating incident like this has happened. In February 2016, a similar thing happened to a dolphin, and a young bison calf had to be euthanised last year after tourists put it in their car because it looked ‘cold’. In March, swimming pigs in Bahamas were found dead after tourists allegedly fed them junk food and alcohol.
No selfie is worth an animal or any living being’s life. If you see wild animals, leave them alone.