A Franciscan dolphin has died after it was lifted out of the water and paraded around a beach for people to see.
Earlier this month, photos had emerged of a crowd passing two small dolphins around at the Santa Teresita resort in Argentina, and at least one of the dolphins is dead.
Franciscan and Plata dolphins are among the smallest in the world, and are found near the coasts of Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. There are less than 30,000 of them left, and they’re considered a species vulnerable to extinction, according to the Wildlife Foundation in Argentina.
The Franciscan dolphin has an oil coat on its skin, and will quickly dehydrate and die if it’s kept out of the water.
“The occasion serves to inform the public about the urgent need to return these dolphins to sea before the encounter with one on the shore,” the Wildlife Foundation in Argentina said in a statement. “It is vital that people help to rescue these animals, because every Franciscan counts.”
The photos have caused outrage on social media.
“Beasts. Beasts. A bunch of jerks,” Graciela Gonzalez wrote on Facebook. Others called the beach goers ignorant for not knowing that they were killing the dolphin by keeping him out of the water.