Most tourists who take photos with wildlife love animals. That’s why they want to interact with them. So, during once-in-a-lifetime trips to tourist destinations such as Thailand, Bali or the Amazon, it’s understandable that they’d want to take a snap with an elephant, an orangutan or a dolphin for Facebook or Instagram. This snap becomes a fond memory once back home.
But if they knew about the suffering these animals endure for the sake of a photo opportunity, they’d put their phones and cameras away.
Fond memories shouldn’t be created from pain. Snatched from the wild as babies, constantly surrounded by loud noises, passed from stranger to stranger, kept in tiny cages, animals are terrified, bored and depressed, all for the sake of a holiday snap. There is no excuse to cruel wildlife selfies, it’s abuse.
You can help by signing our Wildlife Selfie Code and filtering cruelty out of selfies.
Don’t take a wildlife selfie if it means holding an animal, hugging or restraining them, baiting them with food or putting yourself in a situation where the wild animal could harm you. You can be assured that those wildlife selfies caused tremendous suffering to the animal.
Do take a wildlife selfie if the animal is free to move, not captive, in their natural home, and you’re a safe distance from them. It’s easy, you just need to adjust the lens.
Amongst the 34 billion images posted by millions of people on Instagram, our initial investigation showed there were tens of thousands of cruel selfies on Instagram taken with wild animals. Sadly, sharing cruel wildlife selfies on social media encourages more people to take their own photos. This continues the ongoing suffering and cruelty towards wildlife. Don’t be part of this ugly picture.
Together we moved Instagram
In December 2017, our Wildlife Selfie Code campaign was so successful that it influenced Instagram, one of the biggest social media sites, to educate its users around the suffering wildlife selfies can cause to animals.
With over 250,000 sign ups to our Wildlife Selfie Code, this moved Instagram to launch a new 'content advisory page', to educate users about the issues these photos cause for wild animals. Now, when any of Instagram’s 800 million users search hashtags like #koalaselfie and #slothselfie, which could be associated with harmful interactions with animals, they are warned about the dangers of this trend.
Together we have moved Instagram. Together we’re filtering cruelty out of more pictures every day.