Kim Kardashian slammed as 'cruel' after posing with elephants in Bali
Kim Kardashian has once again incited the ire of the internet. This time, however, it's not because of she's been accused of cultural appropriation (yet again), but because of some photographs she took with elephants in Bali.
Animal rights groups have accused the aspiring lawyer of animal cruelty. Kim took to Instagram yesterday to post some snaps of her recent trip to Bali. She claimed to be at an "amazing animal sanctuary", and the images show her touching an elephant's trunk, while a man rides the elephant. The mother-of-three's followers were quick to point out that such a thing would be a big no-not at a real sanctuary, and that she was "cruel" for endorsing this behaviour.
"Missing Bali! and the amazing elephant sanctuary," she captioned the pictures.
The backlash was swift. "Such ignorance and such a lack of care. Doesn’t she understand the cruelty inflicted on these poor elephants in order for her inane photo shoot. Pathetic," wrote Downton Abbey actor, Peter Egan, while another Instagram user corroborated "Except sanctuaries don’t ride their animals cause it’s cruel. Or tie them up with ropes."
"So disappointing. Stop using your influence to support (inadvertently, I hope) abuse of Earth's most intelligent and emotional animals. THERE IS NO HUMANE WAY to tame an elephant to be ridable, it can only be done through significant and prolonged torture and psychological abuse- elephants are beaten with metal hooks, separated from families (they have extremely tight bonds to their mothers), and kept in claustrophobic confinement to pacify them. PLEASE DO NOT PAY FOR THIS," wrote a third.
Others gave recommendations for reputable sanctuaries; "Kim I love you, but please research some of the issues with these so-called sanctuaries! So many people innocently visit these places without knowing how the animals are treated! Elephant Nature Park in Chang Mai is a well known ethical sanctuary."
The Keeping up with the Kardashians star later took to Twitter to defend herself, and to clarify what exactly the "sanctuary" was doing. "We visited an elephant sanctuary that has rescued these elephants from Sumatra where they would have otherwise gone extinct," she wrote.
"It is an organisation that is working to save these beautiful animals. We did full research before going."
Per the Bali Animal Welfare association, around 3.8 million tourists visit Bali each year, and they are encouraged to never go on elephant rides, or visit attractions where animals are forced to perform.
The association also says that tourists shouldn't stay in hotels and resorts which have elephants in captivity.
Watch the awkward moment when North West asks her mother why she's famous
Additionally, Travel + Leisure explained that actual sanctuaries - which protect and rehabilitate - would never permit "elephants rides, forced performances or tricks, or anything intended to humiliate. They would also never use any sort of bullhook, spear or sharp object to lead the elephants."