Dolphins are known to be some of the friendliest aquatic marine mammals known to man. It seems like humans have an obsession with interacting with the creatures whether it be swimming with them or taking selfies with them?
Along the Atlantic coast between Argentina and Uruguay, live the rare La Plata dolphins also known as Franciscana dolphins. It got its name because its brown-toned skin is said to be reminiscent of Franciscan monks. This species is considered a vulnerable species because there are only about 30,000 left in the world. They were first recognized as a threatened species in the 1960s when they were captured annually in fishermen gillnets.
At Santa Teresita beach in Argentina, a young Franciscana dolphin swam close to shore where one man picked it up out of the water. Many beachgoers began to surround the man and pass the dolphin around to take selfies with it. The dolphin quickly overheated and died while out of the water. It appears people were still passing the dolphin around unaware that it was irritated and dying. Eventually the dolphin was left to die in the sand.
The Argentine Wildlife Foundation later issued a reminder to the public of the mammal's extreme vulnerability, hoping it will prevent such a sad event again. “The Franciscana, like other species, cannot remain for much time outside of the water, it has thick fatty skin which gives it heat and means that taking it out of the water rapidly causes it to dehydrate and die,” the Argentine Wildlife Foundation said in a statement. “This occasion serves to inform the public about the urgent necessity to return these dolphins to the sea as soon as possible if they find them on the shore. It is fundamental that people help to rescue these animals, because every Franciscana counts now.”