A baby dolphin died after tourists in southern Spain used her as a photo prop.
As the dolphin surfaced just off of Mojacar Beach, people began crowding around in an attempt to touch the animal and, at one point, the dolphin was removed from the water for photos.
Marine rescue crews arrived at the beach 15 minutes after the initial dolphin sighting, but the dolphin had already died.
According to a spokesperson from Equinac, the animal rescue called NGO, the young dolphin’s chances of survival were already slim as she was young enough to still have been reliant on her mother’s milk.
“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 on their Facebook.
Although the beachgoers did not cause the dolphin to become separated from her mother, they did accelerate her death by inciting an immense amount of stress.
Photos of the incident surfaced showing people holding the dolphin as well as covering her blowhole.
Reports of animals being killed due to human interaction are becoming more common. Last year, a baby dolphin died after it was used for selfies and that same week, two peacocks died in China after tourists picked them up for photos.