A dolphin was found stranded at a beach on the Dadong Sea in one of mainland China’s most popular vacation destinations, Sanya, located in southern province of Hainan. And that would not be unusual -- but while waiting for animal rescuers to arrive, a few nearby swimmers seized the opportunity to take photos with the animal up close, even lifting the dolphin out of the water for their Kodak moment.
According to Chinese newspaper, the People’s Daily, the mammal later died at a local marine park from various injuries, which included excessive bleeding from the tail, suffered prior to being beached. Other sources are claiming the dolphin died as result of inhaling too much water, something that the bathers were trying to avoid by “lifting the dolphin up.”
Experts say that the dolphin may have sustained its fatal injury by colliding with a fishing boat. Though the dolphin’s cause of death was not technically a result of the tourists taking photos while lifting it out of the water, many on China’s most popular social media platform, the Twitter-like Weibo, have criticized the tourists for the abusive way they handled the sea mammal.
China-trend blog ChinaSmack collected some of the reactions on Weibo that expressed disappointment in the way the country treats animals. “Rather than immediately think of saving a life, they selfishly took photos. I feel ashamed for the characters of my compatriots,” one blogger said. “How can they do this?! It’s so inhumane,” another said. “This isn’t a theme park, that is a life that is suffering.”
“One of them is taking a selfie? What are you doing, dude” another blogger ridiculed. Other’s hoped for some poetic justice: “When they’re about to die, I hope a dolphin comes and drowns them in the water,” another blogger said.