Baby dolphin dies after tourists pass it around for photos

The incident happened last Friday on a beach at Mojacar a seaside resort popular with British expats and holidaymakers in the province of Almeria

Baby Dolphin Dies After Hundreds of Selfie-Seeking Tourists Poke and Photograph It On a Spanish Beach

The dolphin was apparently separated from its mother and found itself surrounded by Instagram-obsessed tourists at the beach.

"While traveling, tourists must remember that their once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity with a wild animal can mean horrific suffering-and in this case, a tragic death for this poor animal", Neil D'Cruze, World Animal Protection's senior wildlife advisor, told EcoWatch in a statement about the latest dolphin death.

Elisa Allen, Peta UK's director, said: "Another victim has been added to the growing list of "animal selfie" fatalities - this time, a baby dolphin".

The group also said that children who were stroking the dolphin had unintentionally covered her blowhole.

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In one picture that the charity re-posted, a child is seen holding the dolphin and accidentally covering the orifice from which it breathes.

"Cetaceans are animals very susceptible to stress and. crowding them to take pictures and touch them causes them a very strong shock that greatly accelerates a cardiorespiratory failure, which is what finally happened", the group said. As Equinac points out in their post, dolphins, unlike fish, breath oxygen in the air through their blowhole, not oxygen in water with gills.

Equinac, a group which protects marine wildlife in the area, reported the heartbreaking incident on its Facebook page.

The infant sea mammal, reportedly female and still of breastfeeding age, became stranded in the waters off the coast of southern Spain in Almeria after losing its mother, according to the Daily Mail.

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'But crowding round to photograph and touch it of course causes these animals to become extremely stressed'.

They may have been able to get the animal into a zoo or animal rescue clinic and saved its life.

Equinac writes that numerous animals it rescues are subjected to harmful human behavior before rescuers arrive.

Tourists posed with the baby dolphin. "There are many [who are] incapable of empathy for a living being that is alone, scared, starved, without his mother and terrified...."

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An alert beach-goer called Spain's 112 emergency number, after which Equinac rescuers hurried to the site.

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