Model who outraged fans by riding elephant naked questioned by police
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A model who sparked outrage when she posed naked on top of an endangered elephant for an Instagram post has been questioned by police – but will not face criminal charges.
Alesya Kafelnikova, 22, a Russian influencer, shared a boomerang of her sprawled out on top of the Sumatran elephant in Bali on February 13.
She posted the clip to her 557,000 followers, with the caption "natural vibes", but deleted the post and apologised after it angered animal lovers around the world and some locals.
Gusti Ayu Suinaci, who heads a special crimes unit at the Bali Police, said the influencer was summoned for questioning about the provocative post earlier this week, reports Indonesian newspaper Kompas.
However, he said police concluded that Alesya had not broken any laws, because she "did not intentionally show something vulgar or something other than art".
The influencer and model from Moscow is still dealing with a fierce backlash after her naked photoshoot in the popular tourist spot known as Taro.
There was an outpour of anger on social media and the group Save the Asian Elephants described it as a "crude stunt".
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It called the photo "another tragic trivialization of the majestic Asian elephant".
Most of the elephants in Bali live in captivity and are ridden by tourists.
A number of animal rights groups, including People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), claim elephant riding is cruel and it should be banned.
Alesya responded to the backlash with a post which reads: "I have been doing charity work for many years and one of my last donations was financial support to animals and to local people in the village, in which I took these photos.
"It is a pity that people see this as vulgarity, and not as a beauty and love for nature. I love animals, I love elephants! And I love Bali so so much!
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"I hope each of you will awaken an aesthetic love for my post and the beauty.
"It was a private photoshoot, I didn’t have a purpose to hurt the feelings of local people at all.
"We love Balinese culture and respect Indonesian rules. Sorry if you see something else in this."
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