A DOLPHIN WHICH washed up on an Argentinian beach has died after beach-goers passed it around to take selfies with.
The animal had washed up on the beach at the Santa Teresita resort and attracted crowds after it was picked up.
The dolphin overheated and died, but was still being passed around as people took pictures with it before being left in the sand.
The Argentine Wildlife Fund said that the dolphin was a Francisican or Plata, one of the smallest varieties of cetaceans on the planet.
There are only 30,000 left in the world and the fund appealed to the public to return them to the sea as soon as possible if they wash up. The recovery of the species is difficult because the females have a very narrow fertility window.
“The incident serves to remind the public about the urgent need to return these dolphins to the sea if they encounter one on the shore.
It is vital that people help to rescue these animals, because every Franciscan matters. As a priority species for [us], (we have spent) more than 10 years working with different institutions in the protection of these animals.
“We need fishermen and other community members to collaborate as best you can so we can keep them.”