You’re not doing amazing, sweetie. Kim and Kourtney Kardashian are currently under fire for instagramming themselves—and their children—playing with pet marmoset monkeys. In a series of videos and pictures on their Instagram stories, the Keeping Up with the Kardashians stars and their children can be seen playing with the marmosets, a species of wild monkeys native to South and Central America, and videotaping them running around their house. “They’re licking me while wearing a skimpy white bikini,” Kim says in one video.
The instagrams—which show the monkeys hanging from Kim’s shoulders, leaping on couches and climbing on North West’s head—were slammed by PETA and other animal rights activists for promoting the illegal and violent trade of monkeys. (According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, owning a monkey in California is illegal.)
In a statement to Babe, PETA’s Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet called Kim and Kourtney’s videos a “misguided stunt” an explained that marmoset monkeys are meant to be in the wild, raising their children with other marmosets and exploring large forests.
“Marmosets should be jumping from tree to tree, playing with one another, and raising their offspring in large, tight-knit social groups,” Peet said. “PETA urges families to steer clear of exhibitors that drag wild animals around town for this type of misguided stunt.”
Erin Vogel, an anthropology professor at Rutgers University, also slammed the Kardashians’ behavior, calling their videos “appalling” and “irresponsible.” Because of marmosets’ social nature, Vogel claimed that separating them from their pack could have a negative effect on them. Vogel also criticized the Kardashians for taking advantage of their monkeys for their Instagrams instead of using their platforms to raise awareness for conservation and endangered species.
“It is absolutely irresponsible and inappropriate for a celebrity to promote the abuse that these monkeys experience,” Vogel said. “Exotic animals belong in their natural habitat or in zoos for education purposes—not as pets. Most primates in general are very social, and to separate them from their social group setting is irresponsible and cruel. Celebrities should spend more time promoting the conservation of the endangered habitats of these animals instead of taking ‘cute’ pictures or videos for Instagram. It is appalling.”
As of yet neither Kourtney nor Kim has responded to the controversy. It’s unclear what the monkeys were for, but whatever the reason they were in Kim’s house, they should’ve been in the wild instead of paraded on Instagram for likes and views. Do better.