Animal advocates are outraged after a photo showing a woman in a bikini straddling a 100-year-old Galapagos tortoise went viral on the Internet this week. The picture was shared on the “King of Instagram” Dan Bilzerian’s account, as he and his lady friend were stated to be visiting the British Virgin Islands as guests of Sir Richard Branson at Necker Island.
According to The Sun, the famous poker player often posts photos with beautiful women and all the places he likes to travel, but this particular photo set off a firestorm of critical barbs aimed at Bilzerian and his lack of respect for the endangered tortoise. The World Wildlife Fund classifies the Galapagos tortoise as a “vulnerable” species and followers of Bilzerian had no trouble calling the showy social media junkie out over his alleged animal “cruelty.”
One follower told him, “It was disrespectful to sit on that magnificent creature just for a photo to show others.” Another person berated Bilzerian telling him, “You have money, but no class. You represent everything that is wrong with the world.” Still another comment described the action as “100% it is disrespectful—no need to interfere with nature like that. Just take a photo and move on—but sitting on it? Just shows a lack of class and education.”
Sadly, the remarks and respect for the endangered tortoise didn’t seem to mean anything to Bilzerian. He snarled right back at his critics, telling everyone to “Get off your soapbox, the people working there said it’s fine to sit on them.”
The Daily News reports the Galapagos National Park in Ecuador requests that visitors do not touch or interfere with the tortoises. Their website states people are to “maintain a distance of at least six feet from wildlife to avoid disturbing them, even if they approach you.”
And doesn’t all this just prove – you can’t buy class or dignity!
(Photo Instagram of Galapagos tortoise Dan Bilzerian)
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