Tourists in Argentina took two rare La Plata dolphins out of waters to take selfies on the shore of Santa Teresita beach resort in Buenos Aires- killing at least one of the dolphins according to Central European News last week. This incident has drawn lots of attention to animal lovers and activists nationwide.
Videos and pictures were posted on social media. Footage has shown the small creatures being fondled and passed around like a toy and left in the sand where one of them died. The other dolphin was put back in the water.
Nowhere in the video did it show anyone intervening to put the other animal back.
La plata, also known as the Franciscana dolphin, can be found in Doce river, Brazil, and Argentina where only approximately 30,000 are left. They often swim up close to the shorelines and in the 1960s were put on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s red list of threatened species. Although they are classified as mammals, they cannot last long out of waters or else their skin will dehydrate, overheat, and in some cases they could die.
Argentine Wildlife Foundation (AWF) released statements after the incident reminding the public how these creatures are rare and unique and should be left in the water when seen.
“This incident should serve to remind people about the need to return these dolphins to the sea if one is found outside of the water,” the foundation’s statement said. “It’s fundamental that people help rescue these animals because every Franciscan has value.” AFW said.
¨People should take care of animals.” Animal lover and junior Victor Carter said. ¨Not just animals but wildlife in general. If we just left them there to die, it’s rude and selfish.”