Animals Mistreated To Look Selfie-Friendly, Alleges Charity Group World Animal Protection
Selfies with animals are everywhere you look around on social media. Be it Facebook, Instagram, Tinder etc. While you may like to click selfies with animals and many would even like it on social media, you are indirectly helping the eco-tourism companies to make profit out it. And also causing harm to these animals. World Animal Protection a watchdog organization says that Instagram selfies taken with animals are contributing towards cruelty to animals. Eco tourism companies often poach wild animals and house them in inhospitable conditions. The animals are then used by oblivious tourists for selfies.
Instagram is a home for billions of photos and selfies. The World Animal Protection (WAP) has asked Instagram to discourage its users from uploading images with animals which are poached.
Steve Mclvor, the CEO of WAP, told The Guardian that it had discovered “heartbreaking” conditions in two popular tourist locations in the Amazon. One of them was in Manaus, Brazil and the other in Puerto Algeria in Peru.
The investigators had observed anteaters being abused – hit and slapped, caimans had their mouths taped shut and were stored in broken fridges. Anacondas were stored in dark boxes. Some of these animals require sunlight and need to be fully submerged in water. Instead they are released temporarily only for selfies. Improper handling of sloths cause them to suffer unnecessary stress and die within six months.
Mclvor also wondered if the animals were provided proper diets. “It troubles me greatly that such violent training methods are used to make them safe enough for selfies. I also doubt that they are being provided with an appropriate diet – given that in the wild they feed exclusively on ants,” he told the Guardian.
In a statement to Mashable, an Instagram spokesperson said "We prohibit the use of Instagram to facilitate or organize criminal activity that causes physical harm to animals."
WAP wants Instagram to make changes to its user guides and insists on adding section to address animal cruelty. It is also encouraging Instagram users to sign a “Wildlife Selfie Pledge” to prove to Instagram that a lot of people support this initiative.Read More