Katy Perry, the famous pop star recently found herself in hot water after posting selfies with baby jaguars and tigers at the Black Jaguar White Tiger Foundation. The singer took a trip to Mexico and visited the BJWT, and while at the sanctuary she posted pics with the tiny felines on her Instagram profile which caused massive outrage among her fans. She has since deleted the pics, but millions of people have seen them before that.
Wondering what the problem is? Well, animal welfare activists consider BJWT a “fake” sanctuary which doesn’t do what it publicly says. Instead of rescuing big cats from illegal breeding and circuses, the BJWT is said to explore the cats for profit including allowing the celebrity selfies. They supposedly take the babies off their moms specifically for celeb selfies!
And, while the singer may not have known about the controversy surrounding BJWT, animal welfare advocates say that when selfie opportunities are promoted with exotic baby animals, chances are there is some level of abuse involved.
Baby tigers or jaguars are often bred specifically for this purpose, which sounds crazy. When they grow big, they are locked in metal cages and bred further, creating a never-ending cycle of new big cat babies which enter the world being nothing more than a tool for celeb selfies. If the cats are too aggressive when they grow up, they are euthanized.
Katy Perry has deleted the photos after the outrage and surely feels embarrassed, but we hope that her photos will bring awareness to the public about these “fake” sanctuaries. A legitimate and humane sanctuary will never allow this to happen or allow any kind of contact with exotic animals. Even Instagram has recognized the issue of animal exploitation and is now blocking hashtags such as #tigerselfie.
If you try putting up an image with this hashtag, Instagram will notify you that pics promoting animal abuse are not allowed. And, although this platform has started fighting animal exploitation, other giants such as Twitter and Facebook are still sitting with their hands crossed.
Katy Perry isn’t the only celebrity that has visited the BJWT. In the past, celebrities like the Kardashians, Backstreet Boys, Kaley Cuoco and Paris Hilton have also taken pics with the wild cats. What do you think of these selfies – are they dangerous or not? Please share the article so we can spread more awareness about animal exploitation!