Recent episodes of Keeping Up With The Kardashians have shown the family vacation in Bali.
The eps have Kim feeling nostalgic, so she shared a series of photos that she and Kanye took at a "sanctuary" for elephants.
But some alarming details in the images caused an outcry from fans who saw clear signs of elephant abuse. What was Kim thinking?!
Kim Kardashian shared a series of three lovely but controversial photos to Instagram.
In the images she -- and in one instance, her husband, Kanye -- are standing alongside an elephant in an alleged elephant "sanctuary" in Bali.
"Missing Bali!" Kim writes in her caption.
"And," she continues. "The amazing elephant sanctuary."
Whatever reaction Kim was expecting, she ended up getting a lot of criticism for promoting a place that fans accuse of elephant abuse.
The issue here is that one of these photos clearly shows a man riding on an elephant.
That might sound fun, like you're leading an ancient army to war or reenacting Aladdin.
But it's terrible for elephant spines. Humans can support weight on our backs because we evolved that way, carrying resources and of course children.
Elephant spines are designed to hold up a massive amount of weight, but bearing weight on their backs causes real injuries.
Not everyone knows this, but fans were quick to take Kim to task for promoting what appears to be an abusive "sanctuary."
Even Kim's devoted fans were incensed.
"Delete this post and create a new one admitting you were wrong," demands a comment.
"And to advise millions of people NOT to go to these places," the fan continues.
We would certainly recommend that anyone thoroughly vet an animal "sanctuary" before visiting, including those here in the U.S.
The comment asserts: "It’s beyond cruel and you have now promoted this to millions of people!!!!!"
"No actual elephant sanctuaries have humans riding elephants," another comment correctly points out.
"As it is unethical," the fan explains. "Sitting on an elephants back causes spinal damages, internal health issues, along with distress."
The commenter emphasizes: "I urge you to look into these issues next time you visit so you know the facts"
"Do better research next time," another writes. "Don’t go to fake sanctuaries that chain up elephants and torture/beat them into submission."
"This is not an elephant sanctuary," expresses another.
The fan explains how they can be so certain: "you do not ride elephants in a sanctuary."
That's pretty fair. If you go to a homeless shelter and the residents are busy performing tasks for the owner, it's not a shelter, it's a work camp.
The commenter insists: "do not visit or post about these places when you do not have the right information."
"These are beautiful animals," the fan points out. "That need to be treated with respect not like a toy to ride along and to take an insta pic with. Disgraceful."
"So upsetting to see that you didn’t look into going to an elephant sanctuary where they actually look after the elephants," a fan laments.
The disappointment from people who genuinely like Kim was palpable.
These weren't trolls or PETA trying to get a reaction. These were people expressing their concern and heartbreak.
"Gross," comments another. "It’s not hard to do some research."
Kim took to Twitter to defend herself.
"We visited an elephant sanctuary that has rescued these elephants from Sumatra where they would have otherwise gone extinct,” Kim said.
“It is an organization that is working to save those beautiful animals," she asserted. "We did full research before going."
Notably, this tweet can no longer be found.
Perhaps she realized that her research was not as thorough as she had thought.