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Instagram cracks down on wild animal selfies

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Instagram's new pop ups will alert users to potential instances of animal abuse

Instagram is working to combat wildlife exploitation.

It comes after the charity launched a Wildlife Selfie Code for tourists to learn how to take a photos with wild animals without fuelling cruelty. Instagram is sending a message against the behavior that pops up if users click on hashtags like #koalaselfie or #tigerpet. Instead, the new warning is meant to educate users about their interactions with the environment. You'll see if when viewing these flagged hashtags, but users posting photos under the same hashtags will not receive the warning.

It reads: "Protect Wildlife on Instagram: Animal abuse and the sale of endangered animals or their parts is not allowed on Instagram". The presence of these types of images has skyrocketed 292 percent on social media since 2014, according to World Animal Protection.

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

HuffPost reports that starting this week, if you search for common hashtags associated with photos of humans posing with wildlife-for example, #lionselfie-you will be notified that these images generally have some sordid connections. In August, a baby dolphin died in Spain while being passed around by tourists to take a selfie.

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

The company isn't revealing all the hashtags associated with the message in the hope that some of its 800 million users will stumble on it organically. I think it's important for the community right now to be more aware.

There are tens of thousands of selfies on Instagram that feature exotic animals, and with every post, followers want to join the trend and take one of their own.

Though there are plenty of people who don't give two shits about the safety of animals when it comes to furthering their brand, Instagram is hoping these notifications will help to educate people who don't know about the negative ramifications of riding an elephant while overseas. Kardashian and her half-sister, model Kendal Jenner, are also regular visitors to the Black Jaguar-White Tiger animal rescue foundation, which houses exotic animals including pumas, lions and jaguars.

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