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Baby Dolphin Dies After Tourists Pose For Photos With It

If you see an animal in danger, put the camera down and get help.

17/08/2017 3:27 PM AEST | Updated 17/08/2017 3:32 PM AEST

Tourists have been blamed for the death of a baby dolphin at a popular beach in southern Spain after it became stranded in shallow waters last Friday.

Local non-profit organisation, Equinac, criticised the actions of "hundreds" of tourists at the beach in Mojacar who pulled the dolphin from the water and photographed it rather than seeking help.

While the group clarified that the bathers were not responsible for the calf beaching, which was likely due to it "being sick or losing her mother", they said that they had caused the animal to "enter a very high state of stress", resulting in death.

Equinac / Facebook
Rather than seeking help, beachgoers used the opportunity to touch and photograph the dolphin.

In a statement posted to Facebook, the group said that a first responder confirmed that the calf had been subjected to curious tourists for 15 minutes before help arrived, with photographs showing "children touching the animal, unintentionally covering the spiracle".

Equinac / Facebook
A member of Equinac pulls the dead dolphin from the water.

A similar incident occurred in Argentina last February when a mob of beachgoers -- who were desperate to take photos with two small dolphins -- killed at least one of the animals on a beach in Buenos Aires.

Under Australian law, all whales, dolphins and porpoises are protected in Australian waters, and anyone who finds one of these animals in danger is encouraged to call their state's relevant rescue hotline.

A list of these can be found here.

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