Endangered baby dolphin dies after beachgoers pass it around for selfies

The selfie craze has entered a new low. An young, endangered dolphin died after beachgoers apparently pulled it from the sea to take photos with it.

Last week, a tourist staying at the Santa Teresita beach resort in Argentina reportedly picked up two Franciscana dolphins from the water. A huge crowd of people gathered around the dolphins and began taking photos with the animals. Unfortunately, one of the dolphins quickly overheated and passed away while it was out of the water.

After the dolphin died, it was still being passed around by beachgoers and it was later left abandoned in the sand. Hernan Coria shared a few images on Facebook showing the two mammals being held while tourists are seen smiling and completely unaware of what is happening to the animal.

Shortly after the images surfaced, the Argentine Wildlife Foundation issued a warning to the general public about the endangered dolphin, hoping it can help prevent future tragedies such as this to happen.

Segundo delfín que aparece en el día en Santa Teresita una lastima no creo que vivan

“The Franciscana [also known as La Plata], like other dolphin species, cannot survive for very long out of the water. It has thick fatty skin which provides warmth, so the hot weather will cause rapid dehydration and death,” said a representative on the website. “At least one of the animals [from the photos taken in Santa Teresita] died. The incident prompts us to inform the public about the urgent need to return these dolphins to the sea if one is found on the shore. It is vital to help rescue these animals, because every Franciscana counts.”

The Franciscana dolphin is one of the smallest and rarest dolphins in the world. The mammal is considered to be “vulnerable to extinction,” with only 30,000 believed to be roaming in the wild.

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