It’s happened again. Yet another animal has fallen victim to human selfishness. This time, a loggerhead sea turtle was reportedly dragged from the ocean at a Beirut beach, thrown onto shore, and viciously beaten and stepped on—all for the sake of selfies.
WTF: Turtle dragged from ocean & tortured for selfies in Lebanon. WHY does this keep happening? pic.twitter.com/wzZlSsUjRX
— PETA Asia (@PETAAsia) June 23, 2016
After being dragged from his ocean home, he was allegedly attacked and beaten with a stick. As he lay motionless on the shore, beachgoers flocked to take photos with the severely wounded turtle. Parents even forced their kids to climb on his back for a novelty photo op, despite his critical condition.
Thankfully, this barbaric scene was stopped when local animal rights groups were contacted. They transported the suffering turtle to a rehabilitation center. He is now receiving the veterinary care he needs and will hopefully soon return to his ocean home.
— GreenArea.me (@GreenArea_me) June 15, 2016
One might think of this event as an isolated one, fueled by a mob mentality and misguided excitement over seeing a rare animal. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.
Days earlier, similar photos surfaced of a group of men in the Dominican Republic posing with a shark they helped drag from the ocean and kill. The men can be seen smiling in the photos as they pin down the resistant shark, hold his or her mouth shut and force the animal’s face into the sand. They posed for multiple shots as beachgoers joined in on the twisted photo op.
Earlier this year, international outrage was sparked after a baby dolphin reportedly died in Argentina after being pulled from the ocean for selfies. And just this month, piles of dead tiger cubs were removed from a controversial temple in Thailand where big cats were chained and forced to take photos with tourists.
Leave Wild Animals in Peace
Animals suffer and die for human entertainment every day—in marine parks, on beaches, and everywhere else companies place profit before animals’ well-being. Never support any place that profits from exploiting animals, and observe wildlife safely from a distance.
Remember: Animals are not selfie props. If there’s any risk that your photo is going to hurt or stress an animal, it’s not worth it.