The money machine: wildlife photos in Instagram


The reporter Natasha Daly traveled around the world to unveil the unworthy living conditions of captive wildlife in tourist areas.

A pure product of the tourism or are perhaps also social media to blame?



The adventures of Instagram celebrity and photographer Jay Alvarrez are followed by 6.5 million people. Stressed relaxed, as if his photo accessory is just a cute puppy, he posts a picture with a lion cub in his lap. Within hours he reaps over half a million likes and thousands of admiring comments in return.

The majority of his followers envy him for this special experience.


Instagram: Jay Alvarrez


What many of his fans do not want to know or admit, of course Alvarrez did not find the lion child in the wilderness. For this photo, he paid a lot of money to a company that has snatched the baby from his mother and henceforth exploits for tourist selfies. These animals are like the invisible slaves of the tourism industry.

The reporter Natasha Daly traveled the world for a year and a half for the well-known magazine NatGeo, to draw attention to the unworthy housing conditions of caged wildlife. What she found out touched hundreds of thousands in a big report.

Long before the advent of social networks, pet owners made good money through tourist animal shows – under extremely poor housing conditions.

At the end of 2017, the platform finally worked against it.
As soon as the user wants to call one of the hashtags, this warning will stop them. For example, animal welfare organizations like World Wildlife Fund and World Animal Protection and National Geographic worked with Instagram for months on a long list of hashtags – such as #tigerselfie, #elephantride, #selfiesafari – which are now closed.



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My comment: Certainly the warning Instagrams will sensitize some people to the conservation of species and nature.

However, it can not be expected to reach those who know exactly what they are doing.


And first and foremost they are the mindless ignorant, the indifferent travelers who are driven by their hysterical addiction to exoticism and adventure, and therefore would even ride on animal corpses.

Most people know what’s behind it.
But as with the suffering and torture of the farm animals, they are interested in a shit about it.

The hope of restricting trafficking on the endangered species platform is also low, as it is mostly unscrupulous businessmen who then seek other ways.

But still: we see this as a good and, above all, important step in the right direction.

My best regards to all, Venus