Social media users have called out Kim Kardashian and Kanye West for being “cruel” after the reality star shared throwback images of her recent Bali trip.
The photos show the couple posing with an elephant in a sanctuary in Bali. In one photo, Kardashian is seen cuddling the elephant while a beaming West stands in front of them. Another depicts a man riding the elephant while Kardashian touches its trunk.
Her photos have been heavily criticized by animal lovers, who highlight that a true sanctuary would not let its elephants be ridden by humans.
Other social media users have called them “ignorant” and “disgraceful,” as these creatures might have been abused and tied up to cater to tourists’ needs.
Kardashian, however, defends her photos on Twitter, writing that the elephants at the sanctuary were rescued from Sumatra, which could have gone extinct if they hadn’t been saved. She adds that the couple conducted “full research” before visiting the establishment.
Kim, we have spoken to you about this before… Please stop promoting the cruel practice of elephant riding 🙄 pic.twitter.com/4MfhrTHJHT
— Responsible Travel (@r_travel) April 30, 2019
So true!! Real elephant sanctuaries don't subject their elephants to being handled, forced meet and greet with people, or ridden. They are given privacy and freedom. They are available for *viewing*. An ethical sanctuary would NEVER ride an elephant 😬😥 so sad for this elephant.
— Anna Grace (@AnnaYendes) April 30, 2019
Except sanctuaries don’t ride their animals cause it’s cruel. Or tie them up with ropes?
— Kurr (@kurrrrrigan) April 30, 2019
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