A Russian model has apologised for using an endangered Sumatran elephant as a prop in a raunchy Instagram shoot.
Alesya Kafelnikova, the daughter of the tennis star Yevgeny, posed naked on the back of the elephant, sharing a photo with her 41,000 followers under the caption “natural vibes”.
However far from sharing these ‘vibes’ the photo has scandalised conservationists and nature lovers.
“Poor elephant. Aren’t you ashamed?” protested one commentator “This is a living creature.”
Sumatran elephants are not endemic in Bali. The pachyderms were imported to the Indonesian island mostly for tourism, rather than for labour.
ppearing in several photos, shared to Alesya’s social media, the influencer protested that: “to love nature is human nature”.
Last weekend she shared an apology along with another photo of herself with an elephant, defending the photos as part of her “charity work”.
In both English and phonetic Balinese, she wrote: “I love elephants! And I love Bali so so much! I hope each of you will awaken an aesthetic love for my post and the beauty.
“I didn’t have a purpose to hurt the feelings of local people at all. We love Balinese culture and respect Indonesian rules. Please sorry if you see something else in this,” she said.
“I would wish that all those who are so negative will awaken an aesthetic love for my post and you will see the wonderful beauty in it.”
The stunt drew criticism from Bali Tourism Agency chief Putu Astawa, who said the act did “not meet the norms that we are promoting as part of tourism in Bali.”
Similarly Save the Asian Elephants released a statement saying it was: