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This is alarmingly not the first time a dolphin has been killed for selfies. 

August 16, 2017

Tourists in southern Spain killed a baby dolphin last week after taking it out of the water and passing it around for photos.

The dolphin appeared off the beach of Mojacar on August 11, and people began crowding around, trying to touch it. At one point, the dolphin was taken out of the water and used as a prop in photos.

Related: The Right and Wrong Ways to Interact With Wild Animals While Traveling

Marine rescue crews showed up at the beach about 15 minutes after the dolphin was first spotted, but by that time the dolphin had already died.

The dolphin was young enough to still be reliant on its mother’s milk, and a spokesperson from Equinac, the animal rescue NGO, told Spanish news agency Efe that because of the animal’s young age, its chances for survival were already slim.

"We may not have succeeded in rescuing her, but we would have tried,” the spokesperson said.

“Crowding round to touch them [dolphins] and take photos provokes shock and greatly accelerates cardio-respiratory failure. Which is exactly what happened in this case," Equinac wrote in a statement on Facebook.

Some of the photographs showed people suffocating the dolphin by covering its blowhole. Although the organization said that the beachgoers are not responsible for separating the dolphin from its mother, they hastened its death by putting it in a stressful situation.

Rescuers are performing an autopsy on the dolphin to determine the exact cause of death.

Last year, tourists in Argentina removed a baby dolphin from the ocean to take selfies with it. The dolphin died shortly after. That same week, two peacocks died after tourists in China picked them up for photographs. 

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