South America

Rare dolphin 'already dead' before being handled by tourists, beachgoer claims

Facebook: Hernan Coria Source: Facebook

One of the tourists who handed around a baby dolphin on an Argentinian beach claims it had died before they started taking photos with it.

The young Franciscana dolphin that was pulled from the water and passed around by tourists for photos was allegedly already dead.

Pictures taken at the Santa Teresita beach resort in Argentina show crowds of tourists clamouring to see the mammal. 

One of the tourists, Hernan Coria, who handed around a baby dolphin on an Argentinian beach claims it had died before they started taking selfies with it.

"The water was very hot. It was full of jellyfish and people were not going in the water," he told local news outlet Telefe Noticias.

"Everything happened in five minutes. It was washed up already dead. They took it back to the water but it wouldn't go back out."

According to Mr Coria, there was no lifeguard on duty to help and nearby beaches also had dead dolphins washing up.

"The day before the same thing happened," he said.

The Franciscana dolphin is listed as a "vulnerable" species as there are just 30,000 remaining in the wild.

The thick, fatty skin of dolphins provides the animal with heat. When removed from the water, they can rapidly overheat and dehydrate.

News of the death sparked fury on social media:

- With AAP

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