According to CNN, if you search for hashtags like #lionselfie, #koalaselfie, #koalahugs or #tigerpet - either by clicking on it or directly typing it in - a warning will pop up.
While Instagram is not removing images that depict people holding animals, they are committed to removing any images that depict acts of animal abuse.
You can still carry on with your search and view the photos, cancel your search or learn more from a help page.
"Sometimes you might be in an exotic location, say on a beach, and someone comes by with a tiger cub or a baby chimpanzee and offers to let you take a selfie with the animal for a small price", said Crawford Allan, senior director for the Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network at the World Wildlife Fund.
A screen shot of a content advisory launch on December 4, 2017 by Instagram to educate users about the dangers selfies can pose to wildlife.
Want to cuddle up with a sloth?
These warnings couldn't have come at a better time, as National Geographic reports that wildlife selfies have grown 292 percent since 2014.
Cassandra Koenen, head of wildlife campaigns at World Animal Protection, said that though koalas may seem happy and placid while the snaps are taken they are in fact "frozen in fear". "If someone's behaviour is interrupted, hopefully they'll think, Maybe there's something more here, or maybe I shouldn't just automatically like something or forward something or repost something if Instagram is saying to me there's a problem with this photo".
A handout picture released on October 4, 2017 by World Animal Protection shows a tourist taking a photo of a woman posing with a sloth in an unspecified location in Brazil on October 22, 2016.
Moreover, she adds, it's often what a photo doesn't capture that's most concerning.
People who post selfies with wild animals could now be challenged for doing so.
Celebrities including socialite Paris Hilton and reality start Khloe Kardashian have been roundly criticised for posing for pictures with chimpanzees and orangutans at private zoos by the UN's Great Apes Survival Partnership, who branded them "chumps with chimps" past year.
The pop-up rebuke will also appear for searches for more egregious activities, like hashtags that advertise the sale of exotic animals or animal parts, the social media service says.
Instagram has policed content before.
Similar alerts are already set up for many hashtags in dozens of languages related to suicide, self-harm, and eating disorders.
Instagram hopes to make users think twice about what's going on behind the picture.