A woman who dragged a swan out of a lake in an attempt to take a “perfect” selfie ended up sparking vigorous reactions by animal-loving people on the internet.
The incident happened in Macedonia, where a Bulgarian tourist, whose identity has not been revealed, pulled up a swan from Lake Orhid to take a selfie with it. Photos of the woman struggling to pull out the swan out of its natural habitat were released on the web this week, causing a social media furor condemning the thoughtless actions of the young woman.
According to the Macedonian International News Agency, the woman was part of a larger tourist group from Bulgaria visiting Lake Orhid, one of the deepest and oldest lakes in Europe, known for preserving a unique aquatic ecosystem that is of worldwide importance, with more than 200 endemic species.
Swans form an important part of the ecosystem in and near the lake, and are generally very peaceful as they are not used to tourists bothering them.
According to onlookers, however, the woman in the picture began to roughly handle the bird for the sake of a selfie. Macedonian resident Nate Batev, who was present at the scene and clicked his own pictures of the horrific scene, told The Huffington Post that the woman was asking a friend to take a picture while she posed with the swan.
“I was just walking by when I noticed her posing and grabbing for her friends to take the picture. It was just a second and in the next moment I was running and yelling for her to let go.”
Although the Bulgarian woman soon backed off and returned to her friends, witnesses said the swan was motionless after she had finished taking pictures.
The woman’s actions have prompted animal rights activists to take to social media to denounce the acts of the young woman, according to AOL.
"Woman kills swan by taking selfie with it"— Danny Graham (@dagra2) March 8, 2016
This, like the baby dolphin that was killed, makes me so, so angry. A wild animal is not a prop!
This selfie trend has got to end!!! First killing a baby dolphin and now a swan?! Honestly how can so many be blind to what they're doing?— Samantha Seagrove (@SSeagrove) March 8, 2016
Abusing an animal for a selfie, howsoever absurd it may sound, is not a completely isolated incident. Only last month, the internet was ablaze with anger after a mob of selfie-crazed beach-goers in Buenos Aires killed a small dolphin by hoisting the animal out of the water and passing it around.
It is still not clear if the woman is going to face any charges for killing the swan in Macedonia, but it is quite apparent that selfie indulgence is not only becoming a dangerous habit for humans, but also for the animals around us.
According to a report in CBS, more people died from selfies than shark attacks in 2015, and if the trend for idiotic — and dangerous — selfies does not abate soon, there are many more human and animal lives that might be at stake.
One can only hope that people can learn from the acts of the Bulgarian woman and begin to care for their surroundings.
[Image via Shutterstock]