Lonely Planet Writer

Videos of animal treatment spark online outrage

Days after a rare La Plata dolphin died after it was carried onto a beach at a resort in Argentina and passed around while people took photographs, two more incidents of people behaving badly with animals from around the world have others outraged online.

Video still of a man who pulled a shark out of the ocean and took photos with it.
Video still of a man who pulled a shark out of the ocean and took photos with it. Image by Ashleigh Walters Facebook

Last week, media from around the world reported that a baby Franciscana dolphin was pulled from the beach, but died after it was held by tourists taking selfies. The incident drew criticism from around the world and led the Wildlife Foundation in Argentina to warn people about how to treat the vulnerable species. But one tourist who took photos of the incident claims the dolphin was already dead when taken out of the water, reports the Independent.

Now, the South China Morning Post is reporting that two peacocks at the Yunnan Zoo died after people picked up the birds to pose for photographs and allegedly plucked their feathers. The zoo confirmed a peacock died due to “violent behaviour” from tourists over the spring holiday, reports the Post. Photographs of visitors holding the birds were posted online, and many commenters were shocked by the behaviour and condemned the action while questioning why tourists were able to grab the animals.

An incident in Florida also sparked controversy online after a journalist posted a video of a man grabbing a small shark and dragging it onto the beach to take photographs. It appears people had been fishing on the shore. After they are done taking photos the man and his friend pull the animal back into the water. Journalist Ashleigh Walters posted the video and wrote that the animal did not resurface for several minutes after it was released back into the water.

However, some people defended the man, stating that it is a fairly common practice for people to take pictures with fish they catch. About 96% of sharks caught for recreation in the US are released back into the ocean, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website.

Watch the video here.

Read more: How to interact ethically with elephants in Thailand