Watch the Birdie: Selfies Promote Animal Cruelty and Death
Zachary Crockett, of Pricenomics.com, has found that since 2014, 49 people were killed in attempts to take pictures of themselves with wild creatures. Although there are no statistics on how many animals have been harmed due to selfies, wildlife organizations such as Care for the Wild International are appealing to the public to stop using animals as props.
Visitors to China’s Yunnan Wild Animal Park lured captive peacocks from their enclosure and grabbed them by their tails. The birds died as a result. Another group of people at a beach in Argentina was filmed mobbing a baby Franciscana dolphin, an endangered species, while taking pictures, resulting in its death likely through shock and severe dehydration from being removed from the water for too long.
Due to the high demand by tourists to take pictures with wild animals, special photographic settings are popping up in Mexico, Europe and Morocco. However, the Association for British Travel Agents stated that no legitimate sanctuary would allow animals to be used as photo props.
This article appears in the February 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.