The UN’s Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) is waging a war against Khloe Kardashian and Paris Hilton.
The watchdog group said that photos the two celebrities posted with orangutans on social media are actively undoing their conservation efforts. Both Khloe and Paris have posted shots of themselves cuddling with Dior, an orangutan living at the Dubai Zoo, and GRASP coordinator Douglas Cress is not happy about their canoodling with the notoriously easy to fool animals.
“Every time a famous face is seen cuddling an ape in this way, it undoes years of our work,” Cress said in an interview with CNN. “It lowers the value of the animal, and the public sense of conservation drops.”
Cress added that it’s not so much the association with the celebrities that causes the shift, but the fact that Dior was clothed in both photos. Combined with the two stars’ reach on social media, Cress says it can cause widespread damage.
“If you can laugh at an animal, or you can empathize by how human it is in clothing, then you rob it of its natural wildness. It becomes something comic, or a pet,” the GRASP coordinator said. “So when you have a celebrity like Paris Hilton holding an orangutan with a dress on, they can impact millions of people because their audience is so huge.”
(Via New York Magazine)