It looks like we still have a lot to learn about respecting animals. A baby dolphin was killed earlier this week after being swarmed by masses of tourists who sought out the perfect selfie moment. The incident took place on a beach in San Bernando, Argentina. A

A blurry video uploaded by Argentinian news channel C5N on Twitter shows the baby dolphin being swarmed by cheerful, curious tourists who took the opportunity to get close to an animal that they would likely never have the opportunity to pet. Regarding the tragic incident, one observer told C5N, “he was young and came to the shore. They could have returned him to the water — in fact, he was breathing. But everyone started taking photos and touching him. They said he was already dead.”

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While we do not shame selfies in the name of spreading a little bit of self-love, our culture’s obsession with getting the most likes has taken selfies to new, wilder heights that, unfortunately, come at the expense of wildlife.

This is not the first time that a baby dolphin has been killed by tourists who jumped at the opportunity to take a photo; last year, a stranded baby La Plata dolphin was killed after tourists paraded him around the beach instead of returning him to the water. The saddest part is, La Plata dolphins are endangered with an estimated 30,000 left in the world. But it’s not just the animals who get hurt — earlier this year, a couple on vacation in Thailand attempted to take a selfie with a sleeping crocodile and one of them ended up getting bitten when the animal was woken up. It also speaks levels of how far some people are willing to abandon common sense in order to upload a photo to social media. Telegraph has pointed out that in 2015, more people died taking selfies than those who died of shark attacks.

Is selfie culture really the problem? Probably not. The selfies simply reflect a larger problem in the way we view animals. We need to understand that the animals we encounter, wild, captive, or domestic, are not props for our entertainment; they are living, breathing creatures with their own lives. The baby dolphin that died earlier this week could have been saved, if only had tourists understood that.

Lead image source: Havoc/Shutterstock

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