Just imagine you are reclining on a white beach in the Dominican Republic. You've got your sunscreen, you've got your towel, you've got an 8-foot shark suffocating to death, helplessly flailing about for air on the sand. That was the scene for some tourists outside a Punta Cana resort recently. A blue shark died after being pulled from the water for a few selfies, because that's more important I guess, right?
Nine young men, including a few lifeguards employed by the nearby Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Punta Cana, decided they wanted to have a little fun with the local wildlife. So a few of them hopped into the Caribbean Sea and dragged an eight foot blue shark onto the sand. They tortured it a little with a wooden plank, ironically tossed a life ring over its head, and then posed around the clearly dying animal with smiles and "thumbs-up" all around. There are also children seen investigating the dying animal, because maybe they forgot their pails and shovels and got bored or something. So why not go poke around a dying animal instead?
Stacy Sorino, a spokesperson for the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, told news outlet The Dodo that the hotel would certainly be taking "corrective measures" against the lifeguards involved, and that "That is absolutely against our standards of protecting animals as we protect our guests."
(Be warned everyone; the video footage is tough to swallow.)
Just when you thought we, as human beings, could not take our self-obsession any further, something like this happens. Something to remind us how truly far removed some of us have become in the pursuit of self. How far we will go to keep ourselves entertained. It seems nearly impossible that not one of these nine, grown-ass men thought to themselves, "Wait a minute; this might be wrong. Isn't there a particularly famous week of television literally dedicated to the preservation of my potential shark/selfie partner? Perhaps this might not be the best idea."
Not one of them stopped it. Not one person on the beach stopped what was happening. Not the parents on the beach who allowed their children to pose with the shark. Not the lifeguards who are meant to be protecting the beaches for humans and animals alike. No one.
Sadly, this isn't even the first time a sea creature was forced to die in honor of an epic selfie. In February, an infant Franciscan dolphin died on a beach in Argentina because the tourists were all too excited to get a selfie with the precious animal and killed it.
Here's the thing, everyone: You are the only person who is really paying attention to your own selfies. Nobody else could be bothered. So don't go killing off the wildlife for a picture you will look at maybe twice in your life before you swipe past it for a picture of that amazing meal you ate last night.
Killing off our wildlife is never a good idea, but in the vain pursuit of a hollow selfie... it's just plain atrocious.