Instagram has just rolled out a new little feature to help fight against animal/environmental exploitation and abuse.

Now, if a user is to search a hashtag having to do with harmful behaviors to animals or the environment, a warning will pop up on their screen that reads:

“Animal abuse and the sale of endangered animals or their parts is not allowed on Instagram. You are searching for a hashtag that may be associated with posts that encourage harmful behavior to animals or the environment.”

You then have three options: learn more, show posters, or cancel.

This is in an attempt to protect the natural world that fosters our global community. Instagram promotes organizations like World Wildlife Fund, TRAFFIC, and World Animal Protect as a source of educating yourself on an incredibly large issue in our society that often goes un-talked about.

According to an Instagram representative, who spoke with Huffington Post, “hundreds of hashtags” will trigger this warning, hashtags that range from overtly detrimental to ones as harmless-seeming as #lionselfie. Instagram even notes things like elephant riding, tiger petting, and even selfies that disrupt an animal’s natural environment as instances of irresponsible tourism, and all of these things are regularly shared on Instagram.


“We encourage you to be mindful of your interactions with wild animals, and consider whether an animal has been smuggled, poached or abused for the sake of tourism,” Instagram’s information page reads. “Be wary when paying for photo opportunities with exotic animals, as these photos and videos may put endangered animals at risk.”

Instagram joins the fight to protect our world in all its natural beauty, as we all should.