Facebook photos of men butchering dolphin trigger public outrage in Vietnam

By Dong Anh   November 11, 2016 | 01:04 am PT
Facebook photos of men butchering dolphin trigger public outrage in Vietnam
A photo from the Nguoi Phu Quoc Facebook page that shows a group of young men apparently torturing a dolphin.
Many people have gone on the social network to blast the men as 'stupid' and 'cruel'.

Photos of a group of young men, suspected to be from the southern island of Phu Quoc, capturing and slaughtering a dolphin have ignited anger on social media, but police have failed to take any action.

A series of photos posted on “Nguoi Phu Quoc,” a Facebook page run by several Phu Quoc locals to promote the popular tourist destination, showed a group of men sitting with a dolphin, grasping its beak and holding a knife on a fishing boat.

One photo shows a headless dolphin, and another shows a dolphin head with organs laid out on the deck of the boat.

The page posted the photos on Thursday afternoon and it has been shared widely with many comments calling the men “stupid” and “cruel.”

The page urged authorities to step in and investigate, but no action has been taken.

A number of dolphin species are classified as endangered or critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, while many more are known to be in serious danger due to pollution and fishing, including collisions with boats. Many countries ban or restrict the act of holding them in captivity.

Ha The Phong, director of the Phu Quoc Marine Park, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that he would check the photos and call for authorities to punish those responsible.

“Together with turtles and dugong, dolphins are strictly protected,” Phong said. “The fishermen's actions are unacceptable.”

Dolphins are common in the waters around Phu Quoc, and they are highly respected by most fishermen who believe that the mammals bring them luck and protect them at sea.

Dolphins that wash up dead are given a proper burial and worshiped at temples along the beach.

Vietnamese fishermen also worship whales in the same way.

Social media has disturbingly been used as a platform by some people to display abusive acts against animals in Vietnam.

In January, a man from the central province of Nghe An posted on Facebook very graphic photos of monkeys being brutally killed and processed to make bone glue, which some people believe can have medicinal properties.

The photos caused widespread anger and disgust, prompting the authorities to investigate the man. He was not punished because he only shared the photos.

Another man identified as the one killing the monkeys, which belonged to a protected species, was fined VND5.25 million ($234).

Related news:

Facebook post helps Vietnamese police track down monkey murderer

Vietnam bans animal slaughter at violent spring festivals

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