Koala Selfie Instagram Warning

Pablo Tucker
December 6, 2017

More than 3,000 posts with the hashtag "koala selfie" already exist on the platform.

The warnings will appear on hundreds of searches, though Instagram has not released a detailed list, looking to prevent malicious actors from sidestepping them.

"To better educate our community members about creating content that exploits wildlife and nature, today we are launching new in-app products to encourage everyone to be thoughtful about interactions with wild animals and the environment", Instagram said in a statement.

"If someone's behavior is interrupted, hopefully they'll think, maybe there's something more here, or maybe I shouldn't just automatically like something or forward something or repost something if Instagram is saying to me there's a problem with this photo", Cassandra Koenen, of World Animal Protection, told NatGeo.

Offending hashtags include #koalaselfie, #lionselfie, #koalahugs or #tigerpet.

This is a good reminder that most wild animals do not want to take a photo with you, unless they're being baited with food, drugged, or beaten into submission.

Wildlife selfies on social media is a growing phenomenon.

A stranded baby dolphin washed up on a beach in Spain famously died of dehydration in August after crowds descended to touch it and take pictures.

Instagram also has policed content for other topics including suicide, self-harm and eating disorders.

"We care about our community, including the animals and the wildlife that are an important part of the platform", Instagram spokeswoman Emily Cain said.

Taking a selfie with a wild animal and uploading it to social media may seem like a harmless thing to do.

Celebrities including socialite Paris Hilton and reality start Khloe Kardashian have been roundly criticised for posing for pictures with chimpanzees and orangutans at private zoos by the UN's Great Apes Survival Partnership, who branded them "chumps with chimps" previous year.

Fiercer beasts such as tigers and lions often are de-clawed and have their teeth removed or dulled to make them less of a threat to Instagram-happy tourists, says Crawford Allan of the World Wildlife Fund. He often sticks his arm into their mouths during photos, and treats them as status symbols.

Other reports by iNewsToday