Dolphin stranded on beach dies after ‘beachgoers tried to ride it’ not help it

A stranded dolphin has died after tourists decided it would be more fun to try and ride it than getting help to get it back in the ocean.

The animal was found on Sunday night at Quintana Beach in Brazoria County, Texas.

The Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network slammed locals who harassed the dolphin – with some even taking selfies with it.

In a scathing Facebook post, the organisation said: “The dolphin in these photos stranded alive on Quintana Beach, TX on Sunday evening and was reportedly pushed back to sea where beach goers attempted to swim with and ride the sick animal.

“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.

“This type of harassment causes undue stress to wild dolphins, is dangerous for the people who interact with them, and is illegal – punishable by fines and jail time if convicted.

“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!”

According to local reports, anyone who comes across a dolphin or whale stranded on a beach is prohibited from feeding or harassing it under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

This could land anyone falling foul of the law a fine of around £10,000 and a one-year prison sentence if convicted.

The Facebook post from the group went viral, being shared more than 890 times, with 258 comments.

Cheryl Tarrant commented: “It’s so hard to understand this mentality. It seems so savage. I found a sick dolphin on the shore in SC, I sat with it, poured water on it and waited for help (I called for help)

“I cannot even fathom people being this so cruel. Sad times.”

And Patricia Lam wrote: “I hope and pray that everyone that was in on this gets fined a huge fine and jail time. This is unreal what people did.”

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