Kim Kardashian may not have invented selfies, but she is definitely the Head Selfie-Taker In Charge. Unfortunately, her latest Instagram shot is doing way more than garnering her usual millions of likes. The selfie queen is being accused of supporting a place that allegedly mistreats animals. Receipts have been pulled, and now she and husband Kanye West — who were vacationing in Bali — are being dragged through the mud for the faux pas. 

This may be the most cringe-worthy photo session Kim Kardashian has ever shared on Instagram and also the saddest if one takes into account the conditions these animals are actually in.

It all began with this photo series Kim Kardashian shared on her Instagram account. 

Kim Kardashian and her entire family visited Bali, Indonesia, and the trip was filmed for their Keeping Up With the Kardashians reality show.

"Missing Bali. And the amazing elephant sanctuary," Kardashian wrote. The beauty mogul and reality star looked fine. It's allegedly an "elephant sanctuary." The elephant looks adorable as all elephants do. And the shot is clear. 

So what's the problem with this picture, you ask? 

For starters, there are actually no authentic elephant sanctuaries in Bali, as reported by BuzzFeed

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West visited the Mason Elephant Park and Lodge in Bali, which — as the name implies — is an elephant park and not an elephant sanctuary. Marking the difference between the two is important. 

Sanctuaries allow elephants to roam free, make decisions as they would in the wild, and exist without being forced to provide entertainment. Humans are there to keep the land up, ward off poachers, and to medically treat elephants when necessary.

People can visit an elephant sanctuary to have a healthy interaction with the animals, as monitored by the people who run the place.

The Mason Elephant Park and Lodge is set up so that elephants still serve as entertainment, which is not how an elephant sanctuary operates. 

The Mason Elephant Park and Lodge is "billed as Bali’s most unique hotel [and] it offers elephants up as chauffeurs transporting guests from one part of the resort to another. Elephants play basketball and are required to perform tricks for guests," according to Responsible Travel

Because elephants at the Mason Elephant Park and Lodge are still dominated by humans, used as transportation, and ultimately still treated as entertainment for patrons, Responsible Travel has also placed the company on its list of elephant-centric places that it does not support. 

Kim Kardashian's Instagram followers immediately flooded her post to reveal that the "elephant sanctuary" she visited is no sanctuary at all.

"Do better research next time. Don’t go to fake sanctuaries that chain up elephants and torture/beat them into submission," wrote Timothy Sykes, a traveler and known advocate for the preservation of wildlife.

Yikes! Sykes' critiques of the elephant park didn't stop there. His charity organization, Karmagawa, also wrote a lengthier post about Kardashian and West's visit to the elephant park. 

The post urges people to hold the elephant park accountable without dragging the celebrities who visit.

"We’re sad to see @kimkardashian and Kanye visit a place pretending to be an 'elephant sanctuary,' but which is actually a place where elephants are chained, beaten into submission, and ridden in order to entertain tourists who don’t know the ugly truth of this industry," the organization wrote.

"Don’t blame Kim or Kanye for this. They likely didn’t know about the animal abuse and it’s because far too few people talk openly about this tragic issue so please help us educate them and [the] rest of the world by leaving RESPECTABLE comments on Kim’s post and by swiping right to seeing the ugly reality of too many elephant 'sanctuary’s' [sic] in touristy places like Thailand and Bali and sharing our post and tagging people in the comments too as spreading awareness — not spreading anger or hatred — is key to fixing this problem! We actually can end the suffering of these majestic animals BY WORKING TOGETHER to educate celebrities and the rest of the world too and putting abusive places like this out of business!"

Fans want Kardashian not to promote the place as an "elephant sanctuary," so her millions of followers do not get confused. 

"Bali is beautiful but please don’t tell people you are at a sanctuary when you are not," one fan wrote. "Elephants are beaten and tortured where you are and as many already have said, you can tell you are not at a sanctuary when someone is riding the elephant and the rider is using a hook to control the elephant. I know it’s very hard to tell a legitimate sanctuary [versus] one that isn’t bc many companies lie but please do your research next time and at the very least, remove the 'elephant sanctuary' from your caption bc we don’t want more people thinking THIS is OK."

Of course, some commenters highlighted the fact that Kardashian is studying to be a lawyer and should be better at researching proper elephant sanctuaries. 

"Oh Kimmy, for someone who is trying to become a lawyer, you need to work on being more attentive and research-oriented," a critic wrote.

"This is not a sanctuary, and these elephants have been abused and tied up, so that they can cater to tourists’ needs (riding them, etc). There are many certified sanctuaries in Asia and Africa that allow you a firsthand experience into the life & care and preservation of these wonderful animals WITHOUT degrading or harming them. Sanctuaries allow you to interact from an educational perspective while witnessing rehabilitated or rescued, or endangered elephants. Absolutely not for entertainment purposes. Thanks for coming to my TED Talk."

People grew even more ticked off once they realized Kim Kardashian let an entire day go by without addressing the backlash. 

"It’s been over 24 hours and she still has this up?????!! THIS IS NOT A SANCTUARY," one person wrote. "The elephant you are posing for Instagram with is still and was being abused! You want to be a lawyer to fight for the rights of people well you should also think about the well-being of the animals on this planet that don’t have rights unless we give it to them."

Some commenters also provided extra context to explain how the elephants are treated, and encouraged Kardashian to be smarter with her platform and influence.

"THIS IS NOT AN ANIMAL SANCTUARY!!! These beautiful, intelligent animals are forcefully remove[d] from their homes and family’s [sic] not for their 'protection' or 'safety' but so you and thousands of (aware and unaware) tourists can come and get a picture," a commenter shared. 

"This picture — which cost the life and well-being of these amazing animals — will last so many likes only to be forgotten after a couple of days. But the abuse which they go through will never be forgotten. Please act better. You have a wonderful platform waiting for greatness don’t waste it."

Let's all just hope Kim Kardashian and the rest of her family acknowledges this mistake and chooses better in the future. 

photo: E!

Visiting the elephant park and believing it was a safe sanctuary for elephants is honestly a mistake many people can make when we fail to do our research and just book something based on the cool Instagram photos. Elephants have become victims of poaching, physical abuse, and displacement due to urbanization. It's public knowledge that the entire species is in danger of going extinct due to these terrible circumstances. Hopefully, anyone who keeps up with the Kardashians and follows their every move will take heed to the people trying to educate her in the comments.