Tourists at a beach in Sanya City were accused of contributing to the death of a distressed dolphin by mistreating it, lifting it out of the water and posing with it in photographs that were posted to the Internet.
The dolphin was found near the shore in Dadonghai, a top resort in the southernmost Hainan Province, at around 6pm on Sunday by the group of tourists, the People's Daily website reported yesterday.
The air-breathing mammal died around midnight at a local marine park due to excessive bleeding from the tail, reported Hainan's news portal Hinews.cn. Experts said the dolphin might have collided with a fishing boat before it was stranded.
Instead of trying to help the distressed animal, a crowd gathered to line up for pictures. Several men lifted the dolphin, as long as a man is tall, above the water and one of them flexed his muscles for the camera. Online pictures do not show anyone trying to stop the abuse.
Experts recommend anyone finding a stranded or distressed dolphin should call for help while wetting it, shading it from sunlight and making sure not to let water or debris enter the blowhole on its head.
Angry netizens condemned them for "disregarding life," "having no shame," and "ignorance for using a dolphin as a photography prop." Some netizens said it shows "Chinese tourists' uncivilized habits."
Last month, news reports said a Chinese scuba diver had picked up living marine coral from the Maldives.
Weeks after, a 14-year-old Chinese boy was reported to have inscribed his name on the wall of an ancient Egyptian temple during a family trip.
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