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Animal Activists Warn People To Stop Putting Beached Dolphins Back In The Water

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We all want to do the right thing, but when it comes to animals, we never know if our generosity is welcome.

Of course, if there's a rugged-looking dog or cat on the side of the road, we know exactly what to do, but what about wild animals that appear to be in danger?

Luckily, experts have spent decades studying wild animals so that we can better understand how to protect and take care of them.

In a world where many habitats are being destroyed by humans (inadvertently or not), it's important that as individuals we do everything we can to make sure many beloved animal species don't go extinct.

The first thing we can do is stay informed.

If you've ever wondered whether or not it's right to put a beached dolphin back in the water, here's everything you need to know:

Dolphins, which are considered to be one of the smartest animals, know a thing or two about survival.

However, when humans get in the way, we could endanger their welfare.

There are countless videos on the internet of beachgoers around the world supposedly saving the day by returning a beached dolphin back in the water.

These viral videos tend to rake in millions of views and hundreds of comments praising the rescuers' actions.

One popular video, which was posted by kayaking instructor, Naude Dreyer, received a lot of praise after he spotted a dolphin moving in the sand.

While some people applauded his efforts, others suggested that waiting for an animal rescue team was probably a better idea.

"There's no real authorities around here, regarding that. It'll take a long time for authorities to get there, and he would definitely not have made it." Dreyer said, adding:

"He's right next to the beach, it was in my capacity to put him back in the sea, so I wasn't going to leave him there.”

Animal activists are warning that this act of "generosity" is actually endangering dolphin populations.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), which is the largest animal welfare charity in the UK, is asking people to not put dolphins that have washed ashore back in the sea after two died in Wales.

"In many ways, it is a source of great pride that people across west Wales love wild animals and want to help," RSPCA officer Ellie West said, "but returning a beached aquatic mammals to the sea can be hugely counter-productive."

"People are obviously well-meaning in doing this, but usually it is the wrong thing to do for the animals, and their welfare."

The RSPCA says dolphins wash up on a beach for a reason.

The charity says dolphins wash up on a beach if they're dying or have major welfare complications.

The best thing you can do is contact an animal rescue team.

Not only is putting an emancipated dolphin back into the water further endangering the marine animal's life, it's also bad for your health.

The RSPCA warns that post-mortems of sea animals have found diseases that could put human health at risk.

Share this article to raise awareness! If you ever see a beached dolphin, contact a local animal rescue agency immediately.

[H/T: Telegraph / Metro]

Moojan has been a writer at Shared for almost a year. When she's not on the lookout for viral content, she's looking at cute animal photos. Reach her at moojan@shared.com.