If you're a social media maven, you may have noticed a bloom of animal selfies over the past few years.

A baby monkey grasps a tourist's fingers at a temple in Thailand. While many wildlife tourist sites are legitimate, an Instagram campaign is highlighting how some are more sinister in the ways they promote animal selfies. Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images.

You know the ones I'm talking about — a friend or celebrity posing with a monkey on their trip to Thailand, or holding a koala in Australia, or bench-pressing a whale. (I kid. Please don't try to bench-press whales).

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Whale, whale, whale, what do we have here?

Three humpbacks off the coast of Massachusetts. Photo by the author.

These humpback whales are the coolest (and among the biggest) creatures on Earth.

Normally, these majestic beasts spend their time hanging out in the ocean, scraping barnacles off their chins, occasionally coming up for air, and eating fish using their magical water cyclone-making powers.

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This newborn baby gorilla has a lot to celebrate today (besides its stylish hair).

Isaro's baby is one of the 22 to be named in the Kwita Izina this year. Photo by Keiko Mori/Kwita Izina.

On Sept. 2, this little guy was one of 22 baby gorillas who was officially named in a Rwandan ceremony called Kwita Izina that will help conserve his endangered population.

The Kwita Izina naming ceremony helps officials monitor and track individuals and families in their habitat as well as raise awareness for conservation efforts. It also promotes awareness about the endangered species and helps conservation efforts to rehabilitate the population.

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