Reality TV star Kim Kardashian faced backlash for supporting animal cruelty in an animal “sanctuary” in Bali.
On Wednesday, Kardashian shared to her 136 million Instagram followers a few throwback pictures of her posing with an elephant during a trip to Bali, with the caption: “Missing Bali! And the amazing elephant sanctuary.”
The first photo shows Kardashian touching the trunk of an elephant while a man, who is believed to be a worker in the sanctuary, sits on top of it.
The second photo shows Kardashian posing with her husband, Kanye West, and an elephant, while the final photo shows her holding an elephant’s trunk.
Fans were quick to point out that the “sanctuary” is not a sanctuary at all as real elephant sanctuaries do not let its workers and visitors ride elephants.
Some even accused Kardashian of promoting animal cruelty for making it look like it’s alright to ride elephants despite many animal organizations saying that riding them is not ethical.
An Instagram user commented: “What kind of sanctuary let humans sit on the elephants?”
“This is NOT an elephant sanctuary Kim please don’t make this fashionable to millions of people it’s just not right,” said another.
Another Instagram user added: “So you support animal abuse too…*sigh* but are we even surprised at this point.”
On Twitter, a vegan commented: “They are riding them! This is NOT a f***ing sanctuary! SANCTUARIES DO NOT EXPLOIT ANIMALS!! EVER!!”
“Right and as usual @KimKardashian please, know that a true sanctuary does not use animal like toys. A true sanctuary protects animals and let them live in peace,” said another Twitter user.
Others pointed out that the man sitting on the elephant looked like he was holding a bull hook, an unethical tool used by workers to handle and train elephants, suggesting that it could not be a sanctuary.
A person commented: “Except sanctuaries don’t ride their animals cause it’s cruel. Or tie them up with ropes?”
“Do better research next time, don’t go to fake sanctuaries that chain up elephants and torture/beat them into submission,” said another.
Kardashian, who recently revealed that she follows a plant-based diet at home, has not responded to criticism.
She also never hinted on going vegan or becoming fully cruelty-free but announced last year that vegan fur is her “new thing.”