These photos of a dead dolphin bleeding from its head and put on the back of a quad bike as a trophy after reportedly being killed with a boat hook have sparked outrage online.
The incident took place on a beach in the town of Coronel Dorrego in the province of Buenos Aires in eastern Argentina.
A resident named in reports as Gabriela Vaskoboinik shared two photos of the La Plata dolphin (Pontoporia blainvillei) online and accused a local fisherman, who was later identified as Ruben Vicente, of having killed the mammal.
She said: “After killing it and leaving it bleeding to take photos, he rode it around on his four-wheeler everywhere in the resort of Marisol.”
She added that there were many witnesses who saw the unpleasant scene and claims Vicente killed the dolphin with a boat hook.
The fisherman then defended himself, saying it was an accident: “It is not like they say, that I killed a dolphin. I did not ride it around , but I took it to my house and that is what happened.
“I ate it and threw the rest in the sea. I do not have anything to hide. It was an accident.”
Martin Boccacci, sub-secretary of the local Environmental Planning department confirmed in a report that the animal is a La Plata, a protected species listed as
“Vulnerable” in the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species
The La Plata dolphin is found in the coastal Atlantic waters of southeastern South America.
The fisherman will reportedly be fined.
Netizen ‘Yosef Picot’ commented: “He should pay the fine and stop making himself the victim.”
And ‘Luis Fornaro’ asked: “Who is the animal in this case?”
La Plata dolphins are listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species and are threatened by the destruction of their habitat and by pollution.