Rare dolphins pulled from ocean for selfies, one dies, says eco group

Technically Incorrect: Rare and diminutive Franciscana dolphins are carried ashore so people can stroke them, stare at them and take pictures with them. For one, alas, this reportedly spells its doom.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Dolphins belong in the water, not on the sand.

Sky News screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Everything is now a movie.

Or at least a slide show.

You have to record every experience and post it pronto to gain approbation.

So if you happen to be standing on a beach and you see a rare dolphin swimming along in the waves, you drag it out and take selfies with it, don't you?

This is what happened in Santa Teresita, Buenos Aires, according to Argentinian conservation group Vida Silvestre.

The Franciscana or Plata dolphin grows to only 5 feet. It's named after its skin, which is a brown color similar to that of the habits worn by Franciscan monks.

Vida Silvestre said there are now less than 30,000 of them.

Twice in recent weeks, Vida Silvestre said, Franciscana dolphins were removed from the water so people could hold them, stare at them and, as other reports attest, take selfies with them.

The BBC reported that images on Facebook showed dozens of people taking pictures with a dolphin, stroking it and generally treating it like a newfound pet.

Video also appeared on YouTube of a small dolphin being plucked out of the water and carried to the beach.

But these dolphins cannot spend a long time out of the water; they quickly dehydrate, and Vida Silvestre said at least one of the dolphins died.


Vida Silvestre posted an image to Twitter of a Franciscana on the beach, and as the story spread around Twitter on Thursday, reaction was swift and severe.

For example, a user by the name of Brittany Draper offered: "Beyond disgusted. All for the sake of amateur photography. Wake up from your attention-seeking, vain ignorance. I beg."

It's never a good idea to take selfies with wild animals.

Some people try to take selfies with tigers and bears. And who could forget the wise Nebraska football player who took one with a raccoon and ended up killing it?

It seems that the need for a picture is greater than any other thought.

In some cases, however, it's the selfie-taker -- and not an innocent animal -- who winds up as the victim.

There's even a list now of selfie-related deaths and serious injuries. At least eight deaths have already been reported in 2016. Some estimates suggest that last year more people died while taking selfies than from shark attacks.

There's no stopping selfie-regard, however. The Russian government even issued a guide to help people not kill themselves while taking selfies.

Perhaps we now need a guide to not foolishly killing rare animals while taking selfies.

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