Have you ever taken a selfie with an exotic animal? We have. We had no idea this could be harmful to animals. Here’s how:
When people see exotic animal selfies it makes them also want a selfie with an exotic animal which fuels the breeding, sale and trade of these animals.
Even when exotic animal selfies are posted on social media with a message about conservation or education, that message is often overlooked when people see an image of someone snuggling an exotic animal. It makes them also want to hug an exotic animal.
Many exotic animals are only able to easily be handled when they are babies. That means breeders have to constantly churn out more animals to be used for cub petting and selfies.
Wildlife selfies can stress animals out. Often, baby animals are taken from their parents to be used for selfies. They are frequently trained using punishment.
Wildlife selfies are dangerous for both humans and animals. People have been severely injured or killed while taking selfies with exotic animals.
Some exotic animals are drugged to keep them compliant during photo sessions.
People will sometimes disturb native wildlife in order to obtain selfies. This can affect the animal’s natural feeding and breeding behaviors.
Animals used in wildlife selfies are often kept in horrible conditions at roadside zoos and backyard menageries, where they suffer greatly.
In some places, exotic animals are poached to be used for wildlife selfies.
The demand for exotic animals to be used for photo ops leads to an increase in illegal wildlife trafficking.
The animals used in wildlife selfies are being exploited for a profit.
If you’ve taken selfies with exotic animals before, you shouldn’t feel ashamed. We can’t change if we don’t know what we’re doing is wrong. So now that you know it’s wrong, what’s important is what you do with this information. We deleted our exotic animal selfies and we’re advocating for you to do the same. In this small way, we can begin to make changes for a better future for these innocent animals.