Tourists kill seal pup in quest for perfect selfie
Would you kill an innocent animal just to get your perfect selfie with it? That’s where we are at apparently in the humanity stakes. Tourists accidentally killed a seal pup after throwing it into the ocean and then dragging it out again for a selfie with it.
The incident occurred last summer on Great Blasket Island in County Kerry, Ireland. Holiday home caretakers on the island Claire de Haas and Brock Montgomery brought the incident to light. They explained that this wasn’t the first time it had happened either.
Great Blasket island is thought of as the grey seal capital of Ireland and home to over 1,000 seals. De Haas told The Pat Kenny Show of her shock when she saw what was happening to the pup.
“The worst thing that happened was two people picking up a newborn seal pup, throwing it in the ocean and dragging it back onto the beach to take a selfie,” says De Haas. “In their first three weeks, seals can’t swim so, unfortunately, it died afterwards because the mum rejected the pup.”
De Haas mentioned that they had seen many similar incidents in their time on the island, and it really boils down to a lack of education. “There is no signage on the island to educate or inform people about general wildlife rules or the seals,” she says.
“That was the worst thing we’ve seen but many times people chase the seals or they run after them, they do everything for a selfie. It was really disappointing,” she adds.
Tourism at the island has rocketed in recent years, with up to 1,000 people a week being ferried to the islands at high season in the summer months by different operators. The couple alerted the Office of Public Works (OWP) which is looking into putting up signs informing visitors to treat the wildlife with respect and keep a safe distance.
We’ve said it before and it really shouldn’t have to be said yet again. Wildlife is not a toy to be used for your entertainment. Your actions have consequences. No selfie should cost a life, whether human or otherwise.
[Via News Talk]
Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe