A stranded dolphin has died in China after eager tourists fished it out of the water to pose for photographs.
The dolphin may have collided with a fishing boat before it washed ashore on a crowded beach Sunday in the southern Chinese province of Hainan, the state-run Shanghai Daily reported. But instead of trying to help the injured animal, tourists began using the dolphin as a photo prop.
Rescuers arrived but the dolphin later died of “excessive bleeding” from a badly injured tail, likely from the collision, reports said.
The images, including that of a man flexing his muscles in front of several men lifting the dolphin above the water, were posted online and quickly sparked outrage among Chinese citizens.
Sina Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter, was teeming with criticism of the tourists’ behavior.
“China is now filled with people lacking moral values, ignorance, and decreasing civility of citizens,” a Weibo user said.
“Dolphins, as highly evolved mammals, have an IQ only a little lower than humans. But those people in the pictures are worse than pigs,” wrote another.