A BABY dolphin died last week after “hundreds” of beachgoers in southern Spain surrounded the animal to touch it and take pictures with it.
The incident – which took place on the beach in Mojacar – has sparked condemnation from Equinac, a Spanish non-profit organisation that advocates for marine wildlife.
According to several posts on the group’s Facebook page, a baby dolphin that was stranded on the beach was quickly surrounded by numerous “curious” people, including children, who wanted to touch and photograph it.
Some accidentally covered the dolphin’s spiracle, the blowhole the animals use to breathe, the group said.
One concerned person reported the stranded animal to the country’s emergency services number, but by the time Equinac rescuers arrived at the beach, the dolphin was dead, the group said.
“Once again, we note that the human being is the most irrational species that exists,” Equinac wrote on Facebook, blasting the “selfishness” of those that had swarmed the animal.
“There are many [who are] incapable of empathy for a living being that is alone, scared, starved, without his mother and terrified… All you want to do is to photograph and poke, even if the animal suffers from stress.”
The group later clarified that the baby dolphin may have been isolated because it was sick or somehow separated from its mother. However, even though the beachgoers had not been responsible for the dolphin’s stranding, merely touching and photographing the animals can cause them to enter “a very high stress state” and at worst, to experience fatal shock, the group said.
Those who see a stranded dolphin should call the emergency services rather than try to handle the animal, it added.