Even Instagram Says You Should Knock It Off With the Wild Animal Selfies


Instagram already bans photos of animal abuse on its platform. Now, they want you to know that your selfie with a sedated monkey also likely qualifies as animal abuse, no matter how cute you both look.

HuffPost reports that starting this week, if you search for common hashtags associated with photos of humans posing with wildlife—for example, #lionselfie—you will be notified that these images generally have some sordid connections. You can either decide to look at all your future Tinder matches posing with a contemptuous giant cat anyway, or go to a page with further information on the abuse suffered by exotic animals for our Likes:

“We encourage you to be mindful of your interactions with wild animals, and consider whether an animal has been smuggled, poached or abused for the sake of tourism,” Instagram’s page reads. “Be wary when paying for photo opportunities with exotic animals, as these photos and videos may put endangered animals at risk.”

This is a good reminder that most wild animals do not want to take a photo with you, unless they’re being baited with food, drugged, or beaten into submission. Animal protection groups have been warning people for some time about the industries that support animal selfies and the abuse suffered by the monkeys, koalas, and tigers posing in them. Plus, all these pay-to-post images kinda normalize grabbing any animal and snapping a pic—like in this horrifying story of idiots murdering a baby dolphin for Insta, or this woman who killed a swan for a selfie.

Though there are plenty of people who don’t give two shits about the safety of animals when it comes to furthering their brand, Instagram is hoping these notifications will help to educate people who don’t know about the negative ramifications of riding an elephant while abroad. I have one image of myself on an elephant, taken when I was eight years old at a state fair. It haunts me, and I truly believe that one day these images will be held up as evidence of humanity’s disregard for the planet and life. But on the other hand, koalas are so freaking cute!

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin