After she got trolled on Twitter for believing that Animal Farm is a children's book, Shilpa Shetty's latest social media faux pas also concerns animals. This time, though, her error was of a more serious nature.
On Instagram this week, Shilpa uploaded videos of her and her son Viaan's interaction with animals kept in a private zoo in Dubai. The videos featured the mother-son duo playing with a chimpanzee named Princess, a tiger cub and giraffes. Shilpa has deleted the videos after the backlash, though evidence of their existence remains on her Twitter account.
Shilpa's followers on Instagram criticised her for participating in animal cruelty.
On the video in which she receives kisses from Princess the chimpanzee, people left comments like "These expressions are taught to monkeys by hurting them. Sad! People see them as entertainment."
On her son Viaan's video with a tiger cub, Instagram users said, "Tigers are meant to be free in a jungle, not have milk from bottles and live in mansions." Another read: "If you love animals, then firstly you shouldn't have clicked a picture with animals and secondly you should have told your son the sort of cruelty these babies go through. An actress with such fan following should not promote such things, it is simply for the sake of photographs that tiger cubs are separated from their mothers."
Some were more considered in their criticism, expressing the hope that the animals' cooperation is not the product of prior cruelty: "Such precious animals they are! I just hope they have trained with love and not tortured him to follow commands. [Princess] looks timid and perplexed though."
The private zoo was owned by a Dr Saif Ahmed Belhasa, who is the entrepreneur who invited Salman Khan for the opening of his driving school in Dubai.