Paris Hilton Apologizes For Orangutan Video ... Kind Of
"Nothing makes me happier than spending time with animals," Paris Hilton wrote on Instagram, under a video of her holding a baby orangutan, dressed up like a human baby.
But the animals she's been spending time with - including a baby orangutan and a tiger cub - are symbols of a dark and twisted wildlife trade that threatens the survival of endangered species.
Finally, after an outcry from the United Nations and international animal advocates, Hilton is acting like she understands their alarm - for now, at least.
Baby orangutans like Dior are captured in the wild and trafficked as pets. More often than not, their mothers are shot dead so that people can take the babies.
"Every time a famous face is seen cuddling an ape in this way, it undoes years of our work," GRASP coordinator Douglas Cress told CNN. "It lowers the value of the animal, and the public sense of conservation drops."
The video, which was posted nearly a year ago, accompanies another chilling image: Hilton bottle-feeding a tiger cub.
When confronted by People Magazine, Hilton aligned herself with the very people who criticized her for posing with these animals. "I do agree with what they're saying," Hilton told People, during a gala. "I'm an animal lover ... I have friends who actually rescue [captive] animals from these places and they can't be put back in the wild. So these are animals that have actually been rescued. I just did it because I love animals."
But anyone who knows anything about animal rescue organizations knows that no legitimate rescue would let just anyone handle these wild animals - or dress them up in little outfits.
A little reading between the lines shows a pretty plain subtext to Hilton's apology: Sorry, not sorry.