Authorities in China are searching for a man who was seen on a South China beach walking away with a dolphin draped over his shoulder on Tuesday, video footage shows.
In the video, the man is wearing board shorts and appears to be smiling.
The beach is located on Hailing Island, a popular tourist destination off the coast of China’s Guangdong province, 150 miles south of Hong Kong.
A local marine patrol, cited by the British paper The Sun, said witnesses saw the man walk up to the dolphin after it beached itself. But rather than push it back into the water, the man left with the animal, the official said.
A local fishery authority told reporters, “We received reports from witnesses saying there was a dolphin that got stranded on the beach and looked like it was about to die when it was found.”
The local official assumed the man was a tourist.
“He will be punished when he is identified,” the official said. “Dolphins are protected animals [in China]. Whether it was dead or alive, he should have called the authorities for help.”
The video footage drew outrage after circulating online.
“Is he going to boil the dolphin [for food]? This is simply disgusting,” one person commented.