We all see these hilarious memes where there us a cute animal doing something silly. Animal videos are so popular that it is about nearly half of video postings internet users make. But one thing that I know I had never thought about is how someone took that picture and what the circumstances were.
Last month one video of a group of boaters poking a sleeping otter tweeting, “When someone wakes you up before your alarm clock.” I honestly saw this and thought it was funny. But when a marine biologist came across the video he pointed out that pestering an otter is illegal due to the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act.
Without this background information the video seems so innocent and harmless, even cute and funny. But just becoming more aware will help the treatment of these animals and the shares of the abuse on social media.
There are hefty fines for this type of behavior but on social media we are promoting it. I know that this will change the way I view these posts and I hope it will for others as well.