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Baby Dolphin Dies After Tourists Pull It From Ocean For Selfies.

A baby dolphin died Friday after several beachgoers in Spain pulled it from the water to touch and take selfies with it, according to ( the Washington Post . Beachgoers reportedly discovered the dolphin stranded on the beach, but they didn't immediately report their finding to local law enforcement.

Images of the incident hit the internet Tuesday, courtesy of Spanish nonprofit organization Equinac. Equinac, an avid supporter of marine animals and wildlife, shared several photos of beachgoers actions Friday to its ( Facebook page.

According to Equinac, "hundreds" participated and aided in the dolphin's death in Mojacar, a city along the southeastern coast of Spain. The organization reportedly became aware of the dolphin's death through a 112 call (the equivalent of 911 in the United States). Equinac claimed, "It took us 15 minutes to arrive, but the animal was already dead." 

"The animal was subjected to the curious who wanted to photograph and touch it, and this is confirmed by the coordinator of the rescuers and by the own photograph that we attach, where children are seen touching the animal, accidentally covering the spiracle (orifice where they breathe )," Equinac said. 

Kids can be seen accidentally covering the dolphin's blowhole, through which the animal breathes, in shared images. Blocking a dolphin's blowhole can cause stress, which increases its chances of experiencing cardiorespiratory failure. Taking photographs and touching the mammal will also send it into a high state of stress.

"Cetaceans are animals that are very susceptible to stress," Equinac continued. "Crowding them to take pictures and touch them, causes them a very strong shock that greatly accelerates a cardiorespiratory failure, which is what finally happened."

Beachgoers, while not responsible for the stranding, revealed that the dolphin may have been deserted after falling "sick or losing her mother." 

The organization's post on the dolphin has garnered 836 likes and 446 shares. Facebook users also flooded the comments section of Equinac's post with criticism of the beachgoers' behavior.

One user wrote, "People need to start watching the animals instead of handling and stressing them out. Wildlife is not there for you to harm shame on anyone who does this to a poor innocent animal." Another simply added, "People suck...that's all."

Equniac shared an ( additional Facebook post about the dolphin Saturday. The organization wrote, "Do we have to continue to justify our anger? Does it have to be us, Equinac, the police, the lifeguards, the ones that teach many of you common sense?"

Equinac added, "We have put up a lot of publications of what is due and not to do...Ignorance has absolutely nothing to do with respect, empathy and logic."

This isn't the first time a dolphin has been bombarded with selfies by beachgoers. According to ( BBC , images surfaced in 2016 of people taking pictures with a stranded dolphin at an Argentinian beach. Argentinian beachgoers were criticized for allegedly removing a near-extinct Franciscan dolphin from the water to take pictures.

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Author:Dory Jackson
Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Date:Aug 17, 2017
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