khloe kardashian wild animal
Instagram will now show an advisory message to users who search hashtags that could potentially be used to exploit animals. Khloa Kardashian/Instagram

It would be difficult to scroll through Instagram and not happen upon a photo of a cute puppy, or even a friend on vacation with an adorable sloth or monkey. But Instagram on Monday added a new feature that shows users a pop-up warning before it shows them content with certain animal-related hashtags to help celebrate #WildlifeConservationDay.

This new “Protect Wildlife on Instagram” alert reads: “Animal abuse and the sale of endangered animals or their parts is not allowed on Instagram. You are searching for a hashtag that may be associated with posts that encourage harmful behavior to animals or the environment.”

Users then have to choose whether they want to cancel their search, learn more about the warning, or see the posts anyway.

The warning appears when users search certain hashtags on the social media platform, like #slothselfie and #koalaselfie.

Hashtags that Instagram has determined to be “associated with wildlife or nature exploitation,” will cause the advisory to appear, “to help educate our community about creation of content that may exploit wildlife and the natural world around them,” an Instagram spokesperson told International Business Times.

The company hopes that users will be more mindful of the animals they photograph and where they may have come from, especially whether they are the product of smuggling or exploitation.

Photos with wild animals may seem cool and draw quite an eye from followers, but they come at a cost. Such photos, made popular in part by celebrities, have become a staple on feeds without must consideration for the animals involved.

“Starting today, when people search for a hashtag associated with harmful behavior to animals or the environment, they will see a content advisory screen. We are committed to fostering a safer, kinder world both on Instagram and beyond,” Instagram said in a press release. The advisory will roll out to all users across iOS and Android devices.

In addition to the new advisory, Instagram is asking users to report any photos or videos they see that might violate community guidelines. Those guidelines include the rules against the sale of endangered animals or their parts and other rules that can be read on Instagram’s website. The company said it is “refining” its review procedures for the content that is reported and that might be considered dangerous to animals.