A dolphin died in China after being lifted out of the water by tourists who posed for photographs rather than help the stricken mammal. The dolphin had become stranded on a beach in the southern island province of Hainan after apparently being struck by a boat, the state-run Shanghai Daily reported.
The incident has sparked anger among web users in China, which has a growing animal rights movement but no laws to protect non-endangered species. On Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, people condemned the behaviour of the tourists, one of whom even lifted the dolphin above his head.
‘Chinese style tourism is not about relaxation, but for showing off where one has been,’ one wrote.
‘Only by posting the pictures and getting praise and compliments, can the tourist feel he didn’t spend the money in vain.’
Another added: ‘Dolphins, as highly evolved mammals, have an IQ only a little lower than humans. But those people in the pictures are worse than pigs.’
And one other user asked: ‘When even the basic respect of life is lost, I just want to say, how can I be proud of you, China?’