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Last Sunday, shocking footage taken at Quintana Beach in Texas showed beachgoers trying to ride a sick and stranded dolphin.

Instead of helping the poor dolphin, the crowd harassed the animal and attempted to ride her. The sick dolphin washed up at Quintana Beach, and some people at the beach tried to swim with the animal while others tried to push her back to sea. The harassed dolphin died later before rescuers could arrive at the scene.

According to the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network, this kind of harassment causes stress to wild dolphins. It is dangerous and illegal to interact with them and can even be punishable by fines and jail time if convicted.

The organization’s Facebook post urged people to not do anything if they find a stranded dolphin or whale.

“If a live dolphin or whale strands in Texas, please DO NOT PUSH the animal back to sea, do not attempt to swim or interact with them, do not crowd them, and immediately call 1-800-9MAMMAL (1-800-962-6625) for guidance on how to help Support the animal until the TMMSN rescue response arrives!”

To learn more about the harassment of wild dolphins, check out this page.

Although people may think they are doing a good thing by trying to push the animal back to the sea, it is always best to call officials and trained rescuers to handle the matter. Sign this petition to help save the dolphins!

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