A young dolphin was recently killed on a beach in Argentina after tourists pulled the animal out of the ocean to snap pictures with him or her.
— CTV News (@CTVNews) February 18, 2016
After a man dragged the small dolphin from his or her ocean home, a mob of people passed the tiny animal around the crowd as the hot sun beat down. The dolphin reportedly died during the incident, but that didn’t stop some people from continuing to pose for photos with him or her.
According to news reports, once the tourists had lost interest in the dolphin, they discarded his or her lifeless body onto the sand. PETA is urging Argentinian authorities to find and arrest those responsible.
Dolphins are highly intelligent animals who live in close family groups with dedicated mothers who may nurse their young for up to 10 years. One can only imagine the trauma that this baby experienced as he or she was passed around like a toy and the grief the dolphin’s mother must be feeling.
Sadly, this is not an isolated incident. Days later, a similar video surfaced of a man in Florida pulling a struggling shark from the ocean and pinning down the frantic animal while smiling for a photo. After the man releases the shark, you can see the disoriented animal thrashing near the shore, unable to swim away or possibly too traumatized by the incident to know what to do next. It is unclear whether the shark ultimately survived the encounter.
Baby tigers also suffer because of people’s desire to get a perfect pic on their vacation. Cubs are often stolen from their moms shortly after birth and are subjected to extreme stress, and sometimes physical abuse, as money-hungry animal exhibitors force them to pose with smiling tourists. Once the tigers are no longer babies and become too large and dangerous to pose for pictures, they are typically shipped off to other roadside zoos and forgotten.
“Swim with dolphins” programs profit from tourists’ curiosity and desire to be close to animals, too. Although people may have good intentions in wanting to interact with their favorite marine mammals, they’re actually supporting an industry that condemns these individuals to a lifetime of loneliness. Sometimes, dolphins are torn away from their families in the wild and sold to marine parks around the world. Others are bred in captivity and suffer for their entire lives in miserable pens or concrete pools.
Not only are the dolphins used in these tourist attractions forced to live in barren pools, they also have to endure the trauma and stress of being repeatedly transported. One dolphin named Sasha was captured from her home in the Gulf of Mexico in 1987 and has since been transported to various facilities 21 times! She is now being held captive at the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort in the Bahamas, one of the most popular “swim with dolphins” facilities.
What You Can Do:
Never, ever touch a marine animal or remove him or her from the water.
If an animal appears to be in distress or is injured or if you see anyone harassing any animal, contact your local authorities immediately. If they are unresponsive, you can contact PETA.
Spread the word! It’s too late to help the dolphin who died in Argentina, but we can share his or her story and let the world know that animals are NOT OURS to use as props for a selfie or for any other reason!