Beyonce and Jay-Z came under fire from an animal rights group after taking photos with a tiger cub during a recent trip to Thailand.
The photos were taken on a visit to FantaSea in Phuket, Thailand, according to the Mirror. Beyonce and her daughter, Blue Ivy, can be seen sporting matching tiaras and traditional Thai clothing in the family shot.
Dr. Jan Schmidt-Burbach, founder of the animal rights charity World Animal Protection, issued a statement telling the music superstars that “a tiger is not a plaything.”
“Their health and well being should not be sacrificed for a photo opportunity,” Dr. Schmidt-Burbach said. “When you look behind the scenes, holiday snaps like these support an industry that relies on animal cruelty. Many tourists unwittingly contribute to the suffering of wild animals like these. They’re simply not aware that their ‘once in a lifetime’ photo means a lifetime of misery for that animal.”
Dr. Schmidt-Burbach said that these wild animals in foreign countries are often held in close confinement, far from their natural habitats.
“All in all a far cry from their natural lives in the wild,” the statement continued. “But this sordid side of tourism is conveniently hidden from public view.”
World Animal Protection isn’t the only animal rights group outraged at the family’s vacation photos. One Green Planet lashed out after Beyonce posted photos of herself riding on a Thai elephant.
“Surely tourism agencies would tell you differently, but there is an incredible amount of suffering involved in Thai elephant tourism.”
Fellow musician Katy Perry was similarly criticized, this time by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), when she released the music video for her song “Roar” in September 2013. The video featured Perry posing with a variety of animals, including a monkey, a parrot, a tiger, and an elephant.