A baby dolphin died after being handed round by bathers posing for photographs on a packed tourist beach، daily mail reported.
The small female، still of breast-feeding age، lost its mother and became stranded in shallow waters off the coast of southern Spain.
Sick tourists pulled it from the sea، stroked it and passed it round for selfies. Marine conservationists raced to the scene but the dolphin was already dead when they arrived.
Equinac، a group which protects marine wildlife in the area، reported the incident on its Facebook page and criticised the bathers for being 'obsessed' with taking photographs.
They said: 'Humans are the most irrational animal there is. Many people are unable to feel empathy for a living being which is frightened، starving hungry، without its mother and terrified.
'In their selfishness، all they want is to photograph it and touch it، even if the animal is suffering from stress.'
The incident happened last Friday on a beach at Mojacar، a seaside resort popular with British expats and holidaymakers in the province of Almeria. It was not clear if any Brits were involved in the incident.
Equinac said hundreds of bathers rushed towards the animal desperate for a glimpse or a photo.
It said the lifeguard 'lost his nerve when he saw hundreds of people rushing towards the animal'. Equinac experts arrived 15 minutes later but the animal was already dead.
The group added: 'The animal was submitted to the curiosity of those who wanted to photograph and touch it.
'The photographs showed children touching the animal، unintentionally covering the spiracle (blowhole).
'It's not an animal for children or adults to caress.
'Cetaceans are very susceptible to stress، and crowding round it to take photos and to touch it causes them a big shock which greatly accelerates a cardiorespiratory failure، which is what happened.
'We're not saying that the bathers were responsible for it becoming stranded. It became stranded because it was sick or because it lost its mother، without whom it cannot survive.
'But crowding round to photograph and touch it of course causes these animals to become extremely stressed.'
The group said the bathers should have called emergency services.
They added: 'Maybe we would not have been able to save it، but we would have tried.'
Last April sunbathers in Argentina were branded 'selfie-taking scum' after being blamed for taking a dolphin out of the water and posing for selfies.
Prosectors there launched an investigation to discover who took the animal، from an endangered species، from the water.
A tourist who filmed the scenes later said it was already dead before it was paraded along the beach، south of Buenos Aires.