Atlanta, GA

The importance of being responsible in sharing animal posts on social media

Sophie-Ann McCulloch

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ATLANTA, GA — Kimberly R., Interpretive Programs Supervisor at Zoo Atlanta, in her writing shows concern on how sharing animal pictures on social media may cause negative impacts.

People tend to share a post that contains cute or exotic animals on their social media. As Kimberly said in her writing, this act actually is not always bad, but in certain cases, it may also lead to pet trade.

Sometimes, photos and videos of exotic animals send a misleading conception that exotic animals can make a good pet. However, those photos and videos usually lack information on that, for example, tiger cubs will eventually grow into large and dangerous or fennec foxes are smelly, loud and destructive.

She also stated in her writing that a viral video of a slow loris being tickled wasn’t a ‘cute’ video of nice interaction between an exotic pet and its owner as many people think. It actually shows a defensive behavior of slow loris that doesn't enjoy being ‘tickled’.

Therefore, here are some tips from Kimberly on how to be responsible with animal photos:

  1. If you want to share animal posts on social media, make sure that the photos or videos show wild animals in the wild or properly designed habitats. Other than that, you can also share posts that teach you about animals, how conservation organizations work to save animals, or how you can help with the conservation efforts.
  2. When you are taking photos or videos of animals, always be at a proper distance so you won’t disturb the animals.
  3. Don’t take a photo of a human or animal that is in a harm’s way situation.
  4. Don’t hug or restrain wild animals, such as cats, bears, cubs, primates and other species that shouldn’t be held. By doing this, we can ensure the animal’s well-being as well as human safety.

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