A MODEL and influencer has stirred controversy after posing for a photograph nude on top of an elephant.
Jessica Rast, who has appeared on the cover of MAXIM, posted the image to social media following a holiday in Bali.
She said she was inspired to create the shot after watching a nature programme in Australia and going on a safari during her travels.
The image showed her in an area of jungle, naked and lying along the back of a elephant that was sat on the ground.
A caption read: “Just being a forest fairy.
“We are nature. This is natural. Do you find this artistic or offensive?
“To me, everything (and everyone) is art.”
She added: “The photo was taken very calmly – there were animal protectors to help me make the click.”
Another picture showed her in just bikini bottoms standing on tip toes to kiss an elephant between the eyes.
Rast boasts over 328,000 followers on Instagram and frequently posts glamorous pictures from luxury spots around the world.
Other recent destinations have included Dubai, Israel, and the Amazon rainforest.
She was also the cover star for September’s issue of MAXIM Australia.
RIDING ELEPHANTS ‘BREAKS THEIR SPIRITS’
Animal rights campaigners have long urged people not to ride elephants while on holiday.
As well as safety concerns, they say the animals are often kept in poor conditions and that the practices used to train them are abusive.
Campaign group World Animal Protection says that elephants can’t be domesticated in the way dogs or sheep can be.
“They’re fundamentally wild animals,” a guide published by the group states.
“Their wild nature and great physical power means elephants can’t easily be trained to give rides or perform tricks.
“The traditional training process – known as ‘phajaan’ inflicts – starvation and torture upon young calves to break their wild spirits.”
Charity Animals Asia has said that, by taking part in elephant riding, “global tourists are complicit in extreme animal cruelty and pushing the majestic Asian elephant to the edge of extinction”.
Despite the controversy surrounding the issue, many of Rast’s followers defended her and reacted positively to the photos.
“You are a shining star,” said one.
“Keep being you don’t care what anybody thinks you are special and amazing,” said another.
A third wrote: “Amazing shot.”