BY HOLLY BARRY
It certainly wasn’t how you imagine a day spent down by the sea to be. There were no lifeguards patrolling the beach or laughing children building sandcastles with the concentration of a skilled architect.
It all happened inside a mobbed frenzy which encapsulated this one being, so small you would have never noticed had you not been amongst the curious crowd. Shortly afterwards, Sky News confirmed a baby dolphin had been killed after being snatched from the sea for the purpose of a selfie.
Claims are flooding in fast to defend the backs of those who partook in parading the endangered dolphin above sea level stating that ‘the dolphin was already dead’ before the tourists started taking photographs with it.
But, disturbingly still the photographer whose photographs documenting the tragedy causing a viral uproar has said the baby Franciscan dolphin was one of many corpses that washed up on the beach.
“The water was very hot, it was full of jellyfish and people were not going in the water” said Hernan Coria.
Unfortunately, Coria’s statement contradicts his own photography which captures holiday makers scattered across the shore, cooling off in the ocean. Whilst additionally clashing with the previous statement made by Argentina’s Wildlife Foundation Charity, who said the dolphin was killed by tourists.
As a mixture of allegations murky the waters concerning the truth behind the baby dolphin’s cause of death, our urges have yet to falter as humanity continue to capture selfies next to dead animals, which still remains ever present in today’s media.
Nothing seems to have improved since the world learnt of American dentist, Walter Palmer’s scandal when he paid $50,000 to hunt Africa’s most famous Lion, Cecil, in July last year.
Yet, why did we spend weeks tunnelling our say into the domain of social media, or petitioning to have Walter Palmer fired from his dentistry profession when 18,500 tourists pay to go trophy hunting in Africa each year? If these activities were proving effective, we would not be faced with another cruel and shameful demonstration of animal mismanagement less than a year down the line.
The death of this endangered dolphin has gained much media attention because of the outlandish motive behind hauling it ashore. As things stand, the most important reason for carrying out an act of animal cruelty is for the desire to post photos to social media. Just ask Cecil.
It seems as though we are so obsessed with the idea of gallivanting the most magnificent encounters on social media that we forget what is usually considered to be going against the grain.
Questions you might have asked yourself before posting a selfie online when the ‘selfie’ hype had just emerged may have consisted of: “Do I look good in this photo…Really?”, “What will people think of me?”, “Will I get more than five likes, I really hope so…?” and “I hope it looks like I do exciting things like this all the time, I’m a super busy person…”.
But, because our phones are used now as an overspill reservoir for informing the world of our latest activities on a real time basis, our ability to ask ourselves these questions before sending our selfie into the domain of social media is slowly evaporating with our senses of understanding barbarism.
Dr Terri Apter, psychology lecturer at Cambridge University who spoke for The Telegraph online, says taking selfies is all about people trying to figure out who they are and project this to other people. He stated:
“We all like the idea of being sort of in control of our image and getting attention, being noticed, being part of the culture.”
And that is perhaps the unspoken backdrop of the millennials and selfie taking today.
The baby dolphin was just a decoy in promoting the individuals status and importance, whilst protruding a certain identity that others will endorse you for.
Most of us will carry on to question our selfie uploading decision making, keeping our phones close and listening out for that first like notification. Maybe we will occasionally wonder whether the Valencia filter looked better than X-Pro ll, but our worries will not extend much further than that.
And for the rest of those who believe in endangering the life of a majestic creature for a selfie, we will be waiting for that frenzied mob of dolphins to drag those people down into their watery depths for a ‘selfie’ and believe me... our cameras will be at the ready.