Cruelty for souvenirs

Photos posted on social media showed visitors at the Yunnan Wild Animal Park picking up a peacock to pose for the camera.

CATCHING a baby dolphin from the sea to pose for photographs with it till it overheats and dies. Dragging a shark from the sea, again to take photographs. Plucking peacocks’ feathers till it dies from shock.

These three events hit the news in a span of a week.

All three incidents involved animal cruelty for the pleasure of the humans who committed these vile acts.

The first incident saw two rare La Plata dolphins being passed around for pictures at a beach resort in Santa Teresita, Argentina, which led to one of the dolphins dying.

A video, that has since gone viral, sees beachgoers pulling a small dolphin out of the water towards a gathering crowd.

The video ends with happy children stroking the dolphin, with more people gathering around it.

Pictures of the dolphins being passed around for photos, and a photo of a dolphin’s dead body also surfaced.

It appears that one of the dolphins quickly overheated and died. But that didn’t stop beachgoers from continuing to take photos with the dead dolphin.

When they were done taking photos, the body of the vulnerable species of dolphin was then discarded on the beach.

It was shocking that just a few days later, reporter and anchor Ashleigh Walters of WPTV witnessed a man dragging a shark out of the ocean to take a photo with it.

The video was reportedly taken in Palm Beach, where thousands of sharks have been migrating for the winter.

The man spent about a minute holding down the struggling shark so that he can pose for photos.

A large crowd gathered around the dolphin. - Facebook

There was also a point where he puffs out his chest for the photo.

The shark was later put back into the ocean where “it did not resurface for several minutes,” Walters reported.

I am not sure what possessed the people to take the dolphins or sharks out of the water just so that they can take photos.

I mean, will your friends and family really be impressed if you showed them a picture of yourself with an aquatic animal on dry land?

If I saw a dolphin swimming in the sea, I would stop and enjoy the beauty of the moment. And maybe I would try take a video from afar.

But no way would I attempt to retrieve it from its home.

How would you feel if a stranger suddenly storms into your home, captures you, only to pass you around for photographs in the baking hot sun?

Furthermore, a few days after the two previous incidents, it was reported that two peacocks in a zoo in Kunming, China, died after being manhandled by tourists.

Quoting reports from local media, the South China Morning Post said the birds were believed to have died from shock due to the tourists' "violent behaviour".

Photos posted on social media showed visitors at the Yunnan Wild Animal Park picking up the peacocks to pose for the camera. The birds' feathers were also reportedly plucked out.

While the cause of their deaths are still under investigation, zoo officials said they believed the peacocks had died from the shock of being held so forcefully by visitors.

A video screen grab shows a beachgoer dragging a writhing shark by its tail away from the water on Palm Beach, pinning it down on the sand, and posing for a few photos.

A spokesman for the zoo said such an incident had never happened before, although zoo employees often remind visitors not to touch the peacocks.

I can’t imagine the pain the peacocks went through for them to have died from shock later.

I believe that animals should be admired from afar, and in their natural environment.

They should not be manhandled by people so that they can take a little souvenir back home with them, whether it be a photo or a feather.

We should treat animals with the same respect and humility as we do to humans, as I believe animals are sentient beings and feel pain as much as we do.

So, I say, don’t do anything you wouldn’t want to be done to you.

>  The views expressed are entirely the writer's own

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