Tourists in Argentina made international news this week after photos and video surfaced online of a mob of beach-goers taking photographs with a rare Franciscana dolphin was snatched out of the water by waders and brought up onto the beach where a horde of eager photographers posed for selfies and shared smiles with the marine creature.
The incident occurred at Playa Santa Teresita, on Argentina’s northern Atlantic coast.While it should be common knowledge that dolphins cannot survive for long in the hot sun outside of the water, the photographs show many of the witnesses posing and taking photos, showing little concern for the welfare of the animal.
Selfies are photographs that people take of themselves for uploading onto social media, and have become the latest trendy fad as technology has put a smart phone in nearly every hand on the planet, and people have become more narcissistic than ever.
After parading the helpless sea mammal amongst dozens of excited people for some number of minutes, it of course became de-hydrated, grew listless, then died. It’s lifeless body was photographed as well.
The photos originally surfaced on the Facebook page of Argentinian resident Hernan Coria, and a subsequently uploaded video of the aftermath appeared on YouTube, showing a crowd of amazed and amused beach-goers encircling the dead dolphin while one concerned individual appears to be deciding what to do with its body.
A similar event involving dolphins caused outrage in China in 2013, and as we reported last year, hundreds of tourists invaded Playa Ostional in Costa Rica as dozens of nesting sea turtles attempted to lay their eggs. Many nests and eggs were trampled as the tourists took selfies to post on Facebook, and local officials were at a complete loss to stop the invasion and protect the nesting turtles.
The real story here is much bigger than the loss of life of one rare and vulnerable dolphin, it has to do with the way people relate to nature in this brave new world. Just how totally disconnected from nature have we become?
Read more articles from Vic Bishop.
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