A rare Franciscana dolphin, one of the smallest dolphins in the world, died last week after being plucked out of the ocean. A man offered tourists at a Buenos Aires resort the opportunity to take selfies with the animal.
"This terribly unfortunate event is an example of the casual cruelty people can inflict when they use animals for entertainment purposes, without thinking of the animal's needs," a spokeswoman for World Animal Protection told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
"Wild animals are not toys or photo props. They should be appreciated — and left alone — in the wild where they belong," she continued.
Pictures taken by onlooker Hernan Coria showed an eager crowd clamouring to take photos and touch the tiny dolphin.
"[Dolphins] can not remain long above water," said an environmentalist from the Vida Silvestre Foundation. "They have very thick and greasy skin that provides warmth, so the weather will quickly cause dehydration and death."
Franciscana dolphins are usually found in Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil, and are vulnerable to extinction, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.