The High Cost Of Animal Selfies
Travelers in the Amazon gateway cities of Manaus, Brazil and Puerto Alegria in Peru are fueling an increasing problem of animal abuse without even realizing it. They are performing what they believe to be an innocent act, taking a selfie.
With smartphones and selfie sticks in hand, locals show tourists caged ocelots, deceptively smiling sloths, timid anteaters, green anacondas and vibrant toucans. Sloths are picked up and posed with, anacondas are wrapped around visitors shoulder like scarves and toucans are placed on their heads.
It seems rather harmless right? Money is exchanged in order to support the local economy as tourists blissfully choose their Instagram filters and write witty captions. Well what World Animal Protection found is that these tours are filled with abuse on the animals for the purpose of selfie crazed tourists.
These animals are snatched from the wild, often illegally and are used by tour operators who injure the wildlife and exploit them in order to entertain tourists and provide photo opportunities for them.
Investigators found that wild sloths were captured and tied to trees with ropes. They do not survive much more than half a year once they’ve been captured. Anteaters showed signs of both psychological and physical abuse by on their owners, and birds had abscesses on their feet.
Animal cruelty shows no sign of stopping and all of this is fueled by a social media craze of posing next to wildlife. The World Animal Protection is fighting to spread awareness of these terrible selfies, and is encouraging people to sign a pledge against these cruel selfies.