#suffering4selfies is a campaign urging Instagram to update its guidelines on wild animal tourism and ban and remove unethical wildlife tourism photographs from the platform.
We're a group of individuals from non-profit organisations who have joined forces to try and tackle a hugely underestimated issue in the wildlife tourism industry: that social media platforms glamourise and ultimately perpetuate the use and abuse of captive wild animals.
We believe in the goodness of the human race. We're sure that if you've ever visited a wildlife venue and taken a selfie with an elephant, a dolphin, a tiger, a sloth, a koala, etc., you genuinely thought that any proceeds from the sale of your ticket would go to the conservation and welfare of those animals.
The sad reality is that these same creatures were likely taken from their mothers at a very young age, kept away from their natural habitats, underwent some form of training or medical treatment to enable them to be tame enough to be around humans, and finally left to die young, once they were no longer cute or manageable. This is something which has become more apparent than ever in the images from tourist attractions all over the world in the last few months.
In these unprecedented times, we'd like you to think about approaching wildlife tourism from a different angle, so we can help drive change for the animals once this uncertainty comes to an end and we can all enjoy travel and entertainment again.
Please sign our petition to urge Instagram to ban wildlife selfies from their platform. No cub wants to be taken away from its mother, and all living creatures deserve their freedom and a life free from abuse.
What else can you do to help?
Demand information from the venue owners on how they have treated their animals during this tragic pandemic and let them know you are watching and expecting better.
Here are a few examples you might want to think about when approaching wildlife for a selfie.
Sign and share our petition; the more signatures, the more we can show Instagram that people want change.