- Shutterstock and Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
- On Tuesday, Kim Kardashian West took to Instagram to share four throwback photos from a previous vacation in Bali.
- Each photo showed Kardashian, along with her husband Kanye West, posing alongside an elephant. In the caption, she described the Mason Elephant Park and Lodge as an “amazing elephant sanctuary.”
- Instagram users are now urging the star to delete her photos, as many believe the sanctuary is not a safe space for the wild elephants.
- According to a 2018 report from World Animal Protection, Bali doesn’t have any wild elephant populations; instead, they are commonly transported from elsewhere, and go through a “breaking-in” period when they arrive.
- During the “breaking-in” process, elephants are typically restrained so that they can only move when commanded by a caretaker and sanctuary workers are said to inflict pain on the animals.
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Kim Kardashian West is facing backlash after posting photos to Instagram that show her posing with an elephant.
In her post from Tuesday, the reality television star shared images from a previous trip to Bali, where she and her husband Kanye West visited elephants at the Mason Elephant Park and Lodge.
In the caption of her photos, Kardashian West wrote that she is “missing Bali,” as well as the “the amazing elephant sanctuary.”
People on social media were quick to criticize the star for sharing images of wild animals in captivity
On Instagram, some said the sanctuary is “fake” and “tortures” its animals.
“This is so fake and cruel,” one person wrote on Instagram.
“This is not an animal sanctuary!” another Instagram user said. “These beautiful, intelligent animals are forcefully removed from their homes and families not for their ‘protection’ or ‘safety,’ but so you and thousands of (aware and unaware) tourists can come and get a picture.”
Someone else called the photos “horrible,” adding: “This made my heart hurt. I am praying that one day all of this torture of helpless animals is stopped.”
- Abdul Razak Latif/Shutterstock
Others on Twitter pointed out that elephants who live in sanctuaries aren’t typically ridden by staff members or visitors.
Are you for real @KimKardashian you can clearly see riding equipment on the elephant’s back, a man on it’s neck and it’s ears are in absolute tatters from being beaten how can you even KID yourself that its a sanctuary I can’t cope with the ignorance ????????♀️????????♀️????????♀️????????♀️ pic.twitter.com/dHITA8BSnR
— Grace Leland (@gracieleland) April 30, 2019
— Maribel (@JailinneRivera_) April 30, 2019
People have to beat the elephants in order to break their spirits so they let people ride them. True sanctuaries do not let people ride the elephants.
— Paloma Esteves (@Pallloomaa) April 30, 2019
@KimKardashian this is NOT an elephant sanctuary. Elephants are never ridden at sanctuary’s. This is promoting abuse, please use your platform wisely and do your research Kim. pic.twitter.com/eiSK9V2ZyX
— Grace (@dovey_grace) April 30, 2019
Even if it was a sanctuary, the elephant isn’t a prop for your instagrammable photoshoots @KimKardashian. If you really want to bring about change, you wouldn’t encourage this kind of behaviour that only harms this beautiful animal (emotionally and physically)!
— Kiana Alavi (@Kianavi) April 30, 2019
Kardashian West has visited elephants in Bali multiple times
On April 18, Mason Adventures, the company that owns the Mason Elephant Park & Lodge, shared an image of the Wests on Instagram. In the caption of the photo, representatives for the company said Kardashian West visited the park in 2018 and returned with her husband in April.
View this post on Instagram
Guess who showed up at our Koko Bambu Restaurant few days ago?! ???? ⠀⠀ @kimkardashian visited Mason Elephant Park and Lodge with the whole fam bam last year and this time she took hubby Kanye to visit us as again! They’re here with the owners, Nigel & Yanie ✌???? ⠀⠀ #masonadventures #baliadventures #ubud
Earlier in November 2018, Kardashian West faced backlash when photos emerged of her riding elephants in Bali while wearing a bikini. At the time, many on Twitter described her actions as “ignorant.”
Kardashian West responded to the criticism in 2018, and said that if elephants had not been brought to the sanctuary from Sumatra, they “would have otherwise gone extinct.”
We visited an elephant sanctuary that has rescued these elephants from Sumatra where they would have otherwise gone extinct. It is an organization that is working to save these beautiful animals. We did full research before going.
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) November 4, 2018
The earliest images of Kardashian West’s interactions with elephants appear to be from an early episode of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” which fans recently shared on Twitter.
Wild elephants do not naturally live in Bali
According to a 2018 report from World Animal Protection, wild elephants do not originate from Bali. Instead, they are commonly transported from Sumatra to sanctuaries in Bali in attempts to attract tourists.
- Abdul Razak Latif/Shutterstock
As wild animals, elephants do not typically interact with humans on their own. In order to train the animals for rides and shows, captive elephants at sanctuaries in Bali first go through a “breaking-in” process, according to World Animal Protection.
During the “breaking-in” process, elephants are said to be restrained so that they can only move when commanded by a caretaker. Sanctuary workers are also said to inflict pain on the animals using bullhooks to prove their dominance and break the elephants’ spirits, according to World Animal Protection.
Representatives for Kim Kardashian West and Mason Adventures did not immediately reply to INSIDER’s requests for comment.
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