There are certain animals that, for various reasons, tend to feel somehow closer to us as humans. Do you know what I mean?

At the top of that list, at least for many of us, are dogs. Also cats. And any of the creatures with whom we choose to share our homes. I'm a total cat mom, for example. Others, as shocking as it may seem to some, ADORE their pet snake, Reggie. Whether you love gerbils, ferrets, horses, or the chickens in your backyard coop, the animals we live with are some of our closest friends.

But what about in the wild? Any animals come to mind for you? Speaking for myself, I adore elephants. Something about the way they are with each other, and the level of intelligence they manifest.

Also on that list for many of us when it comes to animals we tend to love the most? DOLPHINS.

They are considered some of the most intelligent creatures in the wild. Plus, it doesn't hurt that, for whatever reason, they seem to be somewhat fond of us, as well. And that may be the main reason why hearing about this is so utterly heartbreaking.

A sick dolphin became stranded on our Texas coast. Even worse? She died after some people allegedly tried to push her into the ocean so they could ride her.

Yahoo News reports that "on Tuesday, the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network shared photos on Facebook of a dolphin stranded on Quintana Beach, on the Texas Gulf Coast. One picture shows several people surrounding the animal as one person bends down and puts their hand near her mouth. The dolphin lies on the shore of the beach while people stand around her in another photo."

Whether or not the beachgoers are directly to blame isn't conclusive to me, given that she was already sick.

Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network
Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network
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What's heartbreaking is that instead of calling for help, they flippantly played with her for their own purposes rather than considering there was a living being that needed help. Help that never came.

I consider this story a good reminder to all of us--especially those who claim to love animals--that these are living beings. While some of them love to interact with us, their health is more important. And when we as humans are able to see them with compassion as the beautiful living creatures they are...well, to me that's as human as we get.

More on this story here.

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