When you go to the beach and happen upon an unsuspecting baby marine animal in distress, you should probably leave it alone or call for professional help rather than handling the creature yourself.
While this might be common sense for most people, a female baby dolphin was pronounced dead this week after countless ignorant beachgoers couldn’t leave it alone; instead, they proceeded to mishandle it.
Image Credit: Equinac/Facebook
She found herself at a popular beach for tourists in Spain, and it was there that beachgoers snagged her right out of the water to grab an opportunity to pet the marine animal and take selfies with it.
Experts from the conservation group Equinac have weighed in, noting that the beachgoers mishandled the baby dolphin by grabbing her in such a way that her spiracle was covered during the photo shoot.
Not only did this undoubtedly make breathing more difficult for the animal, but it also created a high-stress environment that would've raised blood pressure and anxiety. Neither is ideal for the animal's health, and both are known to induce a state of shock.
The dolphin was found dead by the time Equinac arrived at the scene, and the group had a few choice words (translated) to say on Facebook to those who handled the dolphin the day she passed away:
“Once again we note that the human being is the most irrational species that exists. There are many who are incapable of empathy for a living being that is alone, scared, starved, without his mother and terrified, because many of you, in your selfishness, all you want to do is to photograph and poke, even if the animal suffers from stress.”
At this point, it isn’t clear how the baby dolphin found its way to the beach in the first place. It's possible she may have been separated from her mother or was feeling ill and sought refuge, as many wild marine animals do in these scenarios.
Similar cases have occurred at least twice at Argentinian beaches. The circumstances were slightly different in each instance, but in the end, it was beachgoer mishandling that led to these animals’ premature demise.
It’s unfortunate that so many beautiful creatures die in the wild under these circumstances, and you can’t help but wonder when people will finally take a hint and stop messing with wildlife in its natural habitat.
It’s unsurprising that unnecessary animal deaths like this one spark international outrage among animal lovers. Nevertheless, preventing it from happening proves to be a difficult task, as it continues to occur.
It's important to spread awareness, and if you see mishandling at one of your local beaches, call authorities right away.