WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A stranded dolphin on a Texas beach died after it was harassed by beachgoers.
- Reports say some people tried to push the sick animal back into the water while some tried to ride it.
- Marine life experts say this type of harassment causes undue stress to wild dolphins.
A sick dolphin stranded on a Texas beach died Tuesday after some beachgoers harassed the marine animal.
The Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network shared photos of the dolphin on its Facebook page. The sick animal was stranded on Quintana Beach, on the Texas Gulf Coast.
In one of the photos, several people are seen surrounding the dolphin as one person bends down and puts their hand near the mammal’s mouth. Photos show the dolphin lying on the shore while curious beachgoers stand around her.
“The dolphin in these photos stranded alive on Quintana Beach, TX on Sunday evening and was reportedly pushed back to the sea where beachgoers attempted to swim with and ride the sick animal,” the TMMSN said in the post. “She ultimately stranded and was further harassed by a crowd of people on the beach where she later died before rescuers could arrive on scene.”
“If a live dolphin or whale strands in Texas, please DO NOT PUSH the animal back to sea, do not attempt to swim or interact with them, do not crowd them, and immediately call 1-800-9MAMMAL (1-800-962-6625) for guidance on how to help support the animal until the TMMSN rescue response arrives!” it urged.
The Quintana Beach County Park said, “The animal was taken for necropsy to try and determine the cause of the stranding.”
According to The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s website, the Marine Mammal Protection Act bans “feeding, attempting to feed, and harassing marine mammals in the wild.” Violation can result in an $11,000 fine and imprisonment for up to a year.