Kim Kardashian slammed for posing with elephants in Bali: ‘What kind of sanctuary lets humans sit on the elephants?’

Suzy Byrne
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

Maybe Kim Kardashian should study up on animal rights in addition to human ones.

The Keeping Up With the Kardashians star and aspiring lawyer posted some new photos from her recent trip to Bali and some animal lovers angry. That’s because she claims to be at an “amazing animal sanctuary,” while posing halfway dressed and touching an elephant’s trunk, but that — and the guy riding the elephant while possibly holding a hook in his hand— would be no-go at a real sanctuary.

Photo: Kim Kardashian via Instagram)

And that fact was pointed out over and over by her followers. She was called “disgusting” and told to “do some research” because “ no real sanctuary allows elephants to be ridden due to the cruelty involved.”

(Screenshot: KimKardashian via Instagram)
(Screenshot: KimKardashian via Instagram)
(Screenshot: KimKardashian via Instagram)
(Screenshot: KimKardashian via Instagram)
(Screenshot: KimKardashian via Instagram)
(Screenshot: KimKardashian via Instagram)

She was also told to “stop spreading ignorance,” to “educate yourself on animal welfare.” One commenter said the photos exhibit “animal cruelty,” while another asked: “Was it worth [it] to force that elephant [into] taking that pic?... Big dislike.”

(Screenshot: KimKardashian via Instagram)
(Screenshot: KimKardashian via Instagram)
(Screenshot: KimKardashian via Instagram)
(Screenshot: KimKardashian via Instagram)
(Screenshot: KimKardashian via Instagram)

The negative comments were pretty much endless.

(Screenshot: KimKardashian via Instagram)
(Screenshot: KimKardashian via Instagram)
(Screenshot: KimKardashian via Instagram)
(Screenshot: KimKardashian via Instagram)
(Screenshot: KimKardashian via Instagram)
(Screenshot: KimKardashian via Instagram)
(Screenshot: KimKardashian via Instagram)
(Screenshot: KimKardashian via Instagram)

And some people pointed out that the man riding the elephant appears to be holding something in his hand — like an elephant goad, which is a very sharp hook with a tapered end used to abuse the elephant into submission.

(Screenshot: KimKardashian via Instagram)
(Screenshot: KimKardashian via Instagram)

Travel + Leisure broke down what it takes to make an elephant “rideable.” It’s a “grueling process” that often begins at infancy. According to the article, “A baby is taken away from its mother and tortured until it’s broken and timid. Elephants that are used in tourism are often chained up by themselves Imagine being a 5,000-kg social animal and only being allowed to walk two steps in either direction because of a chain around your leg that digs into your sensitive skin and causes you to bleed. And now, imagine being completely alone [away] from your family.”

It noted that an actual sanctuary that protects and rehabilitates elephants would never allow “elephants rides, forced performances or tricks, or anything intended to humiliate. They would also never use any sort of bullhook, spear or sharp object to lead the elephants.”

According to the article “Don't Fall For the "Sanctuary" Trap: 6 Questions to Ask to Help you Avoid Fake Animal Sanctuaries,” there’s a general rule in order to tell if an animal sanctuary is fake. “If you can hug, ride, touch, or take a selfie with a wild animal it is NOT legitimate, or does not have the welfare of the animal as their paramount priority,” it said.

This is Kardashian’s second trip to Bali in recent months. In October, she went on a “soul-searching” adventure there with her family. The dramatics of that visit have been playing out on KUWTK over the last couple weeks, including a fight between Kourtney and Khloé.

Kim returned earlier this month with husband Kanye West ahead of the arrival of their fourth child.

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