The young Franciscan dolphin was killed at the beach resort of Santa Teresita in Buenos Aires last week, after a throng of visitors roughly grabbed the animal and passed it around. After throwing the animal around like a trophy, the tourists then left it to die in the sand, according to Argentina’s Wildlife Foundation.
‘The Franciscan, like other dolphins, cannot remain above water for long,’ they wrote on their website. ‘It has a very thick and greasy skin that provides warmth, so the weather quickly causes dehydration and death.’ A spokesperson for Peta added: ‘In their efforts to get a novelty “selfie”, these holidaymakers showed a naïve – and ultimately fatal – disregard for life by hauling this baby dolphin out of the sea, where he or she belonged. ‘One can only imagine the trauma suffered not only by this baby, who was passed around like a toy by marauding tourists, but also his or her grieving mother.’
The Franciscan dolphin, so-called because its brown skin looks like a Franciscan monk’s habit, is found exclusively in the waters of southeastern South America. There are only around 30,000 of the dolphins left in the world.