5 min read

Kim Kardashian Poses With Elephants At 'Sanctuary' And The Internet Is Mad

This is why it's not okay 💔

Kim Kardashian recently posted some photos on Instagram from a trip she took to Bali featuring her posing with an elephant. In the photos, she can be seen leaning happily against the elephant, wrapped up in his or her trunk, and goes on to tell her 136 million followers that she met the elephant at a sanctuary, which sounds wonderful. 

Unfortunately, the reality of the situation is not wonderful at all. 

There are a couple of huge red flags in Kim’s photos that clearly show that the place she’s visiting is not a sanctuary at all. The man in the first photo, who appears to work there, is riding the elephant, which is definitely not something that sanctuaries do. Riding elephants can be extremely harmful to them, and the process of getting an elephant ready to be ridden is far from humane. Baby elephants are taken from their mothers, beaten, starved and kept in chains in order to meet the needs of tourists, and sanctuaries are usually where elephants go to escape a life of being ridden and mistreated. 

The man in the photo also appears to be using some sort of hook to prod the elephant, forcing him or her to pose with Kim in order to capture some Instagram-worthy shots. 

Whether it was her intention or not, by posting those photos, Kim is sending a message to her millions of followers that it’s fine to treat elephants this way, and that’s just not OK. 

As it turns out, Kim and her family were visiting a place called Mason Adventures in Bali, which has an elephant park that is not a sanctuary. The company invites tourists to partake in different elephant encounters, including riding the elephants through the jungle and in the water while they’re trying to bathe and relax. 

Wanting to see and interact with elephants is a common desire of many people who travel to Asia, but places like Mason Adventures are not the way to do it. There are legitimate elephant sanctuaries out there, such as Elephant Nature Park and Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary, where the elephants are protected and cared for the right way, and travelers can see these magnificent creatures the way they were always meant to be: healthy, happy and thriving. 

Many people do not realize how harmful it is to ride elephants, and celebrities should be using their platforms to spread awareness rather than misinformation. Hopefully the next time Kim Kardashian visits Asia, she’ll do some research and know where to go to interact with elephants the right way.