Kim Kardashian is an ever-popular celebrity, who can boast legions of followers on Instagram. However, May 2019 pictures that she posted on that site didn’t get the reception she may have been seeking. In fact, the snaps taken in Bali earlier in the year created a backlash that left Kardashian reeling at its fury.
Kardashian had taken a trip to Bali with husband Kanye West in April 2019. They’d spent a weekend there, and of course she had shared a bunch of Twitter videos and Instagram Stories focusing on the trip. Kardashian explained that she’d wanted to return to Bali, where she had spent time with her family the previous year, before the earlier visit showed on TV.
In 2018 Kardashian had faced accusations of “animal cruelty” when photographed atop an elephant on Indonesian island Sumatra. On that occasion, Kardashian had hit back, claiming that she “did full research” before her visit and defending the park as a sanctuary. However, animal activists pointed out that training young elephants to endure riders involved hideous cruelty, which could involve gouging with hooks.
In the photos that Kardashian posted in May 2019, she was again pictured getting close to elephants, this time in Mason Elephant Park on Bali. The picture sparked fury among her followers. People pointed out to her that the elephants faced cruel treatment from their keepers, who to control them used ganchos: wicked spurs shaped like pickaxes. In fact, 35,000 followers took the opportunity to comment, and many weren’t complimentary.
Several commenters were unhappy that Kardashian had described the park as a “sanctuary.” One noted, “What kind of sanctuary let humans sit on the elephants?,” while another stated, “This is NOT an elephant sanctuary, Kim; please don’t make this fashionable to millions of people, it’s just not right.” Among the thousands who slammed Kardashian, words such as “cruel,” “gross” and “disgraceful” featured heavily. And as the backlash grew, calls rose for her to remove the picture.