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Kim Kardashian-West has come under fire from an animal rights charity after posing for a selfie with a bird.
The picture, uploaded to Instagram and captioned ‘Tweet Tweet’, shows a beautiful green and pink bird perched on Kim’s shoulder.
With plenty of adoring comments about Kim’s ‘lewk’, fans showered the reality star and her feathered friend with compliments; describing them as ‘flawless’ and ‘gorgeous’. However, not everyone was a fan of the recent selfie, and some raised concerns about the creature’s welfare.
Commenting on the divisive post, a representative from World Animal Protection US wrote:
Kim, we know you’re an animal lover, but selfies with wild animals promote the poaching of wildlife for mere likes.
These animals endure immense stress by constantly being held and handed from person to person. By posting images such as this, you are encouraging others to take photos with wild animals, further putting them at risk.
Please take a stand to protect animals and educate your followers on why wild animals belong in the wild and not in selfies.
It’s not immediately clear what the circumstances were behind this selfie. However, animal rights activists have become increasingly concerned in recent years about a dangerous trend for taking selfies with wild animals.
Research by World Animal Protection in 2017 found there had been a 292% increase in the number of wildlife selfies posted to Instagram since 2014.
Worryingly, one quarter of these selfies showed people behaving in ways that could well have been harmful for the animals, including getting too close and hugging them, as well as other forms of inappropriate handling.
Responding to this damaging trend, Instagram set up an alert system for a wide range of wildlife-related hashtags, informing people of the often unseen animal abuse that can take place behind the scenes.
According to guidelines on Instagram:
We also 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. For example, be wary when paying for photo opportunities with exotic animals, as these photos and videos may put endangered animals at risk.
Instagram works with wildlife groups to identify and take action on photos or videos that violate our community guidelines, such as posts depicting animal abuse, poaching or the sale of endangered animals and their parts.
This unfortunately isn’t the first time Kim has been criticised for taking a misguided wildlife snap. In May 2019, the reality star sparked outrage after uploading snaps of her posing with elephants at Bali’s Mason Elephant Park and Lodge, a park known for treating its animals poorly.
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