Katy Perry Angers Fans With Tiger Cub Selfies

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On Wednesday 2 May, the singer Katy Perry provoked outrage among her fans after posting photos of herself holding tiger and jaguar cubs in a Mexican “sanctuary”. Animal activists question the integrity of the establishment.

 

katy perry BJWTSource: Katy Perry/Instagram

 

The refuge in question – the Black Jaguar White Tiger Foundation (BJWT) – claims to be a sanctuary saving big cats from circuses, illegal breeding centres and pet shops. However, this is not the reality of what goes on there. Activists think that the sanctuary is a fake which, like so many others, exploits wild animals for selfies and to attract celebrities.

 

Cassandra Koenen, a member of World Animal Protection, explained to The Dodo:

 

Fake wildlife venues such as Black Jaguar White Tiger prop up this sordid entertainment industry. Don’t be duped by pseudo sanctuaries.

 

Though the photos look harmless enough, the reality behind them is troubling. The simple fact that she was allowed to take selfies with the cats and cuddle them is worrying in itself.

 

katy perry BJWTSource: Katy Perry/Instagram

 

In proper sanctuaries, contact between humans and animals is strictly forbidden. If photos and other interactions are allowed, it’s a sure sign that the animals are actually being mistreated.

 

Young cats are often brought up with entertaining visitors in mind, and for this reason they are prematurely separated from their mother. Once they are too big to take pictures with, they are often shut up in miniscule cages and used for breeding.

 

katy perry BJWTSource: Katy Perry/Instagram

 

Following the general outcry, Instagram took the pictures down, and acknowledged the fact that selfies with wild animals is harmful to their wellbeing and contributes to cruel practices which are a hidden part of this entertainment industry.

 

From now on, anyone using the app who attempts to upload photos along with the hashtag #tigerselfie or #blackjaguarwhitetiger will be shown this message:

 

Animal abuse and the sale of endangered animals or their parts are not allowed on Instagram.

 

katy perry BJWTSource: Katy Perry/Instagram

 

For now, Facebook and Twitter still allow selfies with wild animals on their platforms.

 

Cassandra Koenen told The Dodo:

 

Our love for selfies has changed the lives of wild animals forever — the explosive trend on social media is driving the suffering and exploitation of some of the world’s most iconic animals. So it’s heartbreaking to see yet another celebrity posing with a wild animal and further fuelling this suffering.

 

katy perry BJWTSource: Katy Perry/Instagram

 

Several months ago,  Instagram posted a warning message to its users  in response to abusive behaviour towards wild animals from numerous public figures.

 

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