The United Nations isn't one of the at least 684,000 people who liked Khloe Kardashian's Instagram post of her cuddling and looking lovingly into the eyes of her "new best friend, Dior," who is an orangutan in Dubai.
Kardashian probably didn't expect criticism from the international organization when she hit upload, but the UN.'s Great Apes Survival Partnership argues that her photo damages conservation efforts for primates.
The UN body says that when celebrities post photos cuddling with primates, it spreads the idea that animal trafficking and commercializing the animals are OK to their many followers — and by many, we mean over 47.8 million for Kardashian.
"Every time a famous face is seen cuddling an ape in this way, it undoes years of our work," Douglas Cress, GRASP coordinator, told CNN on Wednesday. "It lowers the value of the animal, and the public sense of conservation drops."
Dior, the orangutan in Kardashian's post, lives in the Middle East, which is a hotspot for illegal primates. "These animals are easily trafficked because law enforcement is relatively weak against a wealthy elite that appear untouchable," Cress said.
However, trading primates usually involves killing a few since primates are resistant to separate from each other. The animals are usually crudely shipped in suitcases.
Despite this practice, many celebrities including Kardashian, Paris Hilton and soccer player James Rodriguez have posed with orangutans in Dubai.