After becoming stranded on a beach in Sanya – China’s Honolulu – a dolphin eventually died because too many tourists forced the animal to pose for photos while it awaited rescuers.
The incident would appear to be another point against Chinese tourists, especially following the events in May when a teenager from Nanjing defaced a 3,000 years old relief sculpture while on a family vacation in Luxor, Egypt.
This time it wasn’t an international tourism problem but a local one. Sanya is an extremely popular domestic getaway in China that has beautiful beaches and everything you would expect from a tropical paradise.
The dolphin became stranded on a popular beach on June 16. While waiting for professional rescuers to arrive, many tourists were a little too keen to get a photo with dolphin, asking local lifeguards to lift the dolphin out of the water for souvenir photos.
This dolphin died after choking on too much water, the result of being dunked in and out of the water by too many tourists desperate to get their own photos of the marine mammal.
Some people in China blame mirco-blogging sites such as Sina Weibo – China’s Twitter – for the need to capture pictures which are likely to go viral, despite the cost of life.
Even so, there were many Chinese on the site who showed their disgust and outrage at such behaviour, with comments such as:
#Please Let Go of That Dolphin# (#请放开那只海豚#), the top trending topic on the site following the event.
Others such as Du Zhifu (@杜芝富) tweeted, “This is truly heinous. Typical show-off in the Chinese style. But you are really showing off your ignorance, cruelty and stinky behavior.”
If you were a tourist in search of a great photo, would you force a dolphin to pose for so many photos that it eventually died?