Fans are freaking out over the LV-printed snake, but what does the cryptic photo really mean?

By Kaitlyn Frey
March 07, 2018 09:30 AM

One of Kim Kardashian West‘s latest Instagram posts is leaving her fans perplexed.

The mom-of-three, 37, who wore an uncharacteristically simple and covered up black maxi dress Monday night at the release party for Marina Acton’s new single “Fantasize” after arriving home from her Tokyo sisters vacation, has returned to her label-loving ways. Kardashian West posted a shot of a live snake she called “Little Louis,” a nod to the fact that the reptile’s skin was covered in the classic Louis Vuitton monogram.

Based on the hand of the person holding Little Louis in the photograph, it does not seem like Kardashian West was cradling it, and instead she opted to simply take a shot of him.

Fans instantly reacted with mixed emotions, wondering if Kardashian actually physically altered the reptile’s skin or simply used Photoshop to add the LV pattern onto him.

“Wtf there’s no way that’s natural. I hope it’s like photoshop maybe? 😬😬,” one fan commented on Instagram.

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“That’s terribly inhumane. How atrocious,” another Instagram user said, calling out Kardashian West for possibly altering the snake’s skin.

Another Instagram user wondered, “How? Is that legal to do?”

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But fear not: PEOPLE can confirm no snake was harmed in the making of this image.

The artist who designed the photo, Elli Acula, originally posted her work of art on Instagram back in June. “I found this image of a beautiful boa on the Danish Instagram page @bigreptilesdk and edited the image — the boa’s natural skin-pattern was the perfect base. No one has to worry, the snake was not tattooed!” Acula told PeopleStyle. 

“I am impressed by what Kim has achieved and I was thrilled to see she posted my artwork on her Instagram page,” Acula continued. “I just wish Kim would have credited myself (@elliacula) as an artist and the original reptiles page (@bigreptilesdk), it has become too easy to repost artwork without crediting!”

While Kardashian has yet to comment on the photograph, the internet already has some theories brewing about what her reason behind posting it could be. Most fans predominantly think the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star could be throwing shade at enemy Taylor Swift after haters flooded Swift’s social media pages with the reptile last summer.

Kardashian leaked a phone call between the “Shake It Off” singer and her husband Kanye West on Snapchat after Swift slammed Kardashian and West for the song lyrics in his hit “Famous.” Since then, the snake emoji has been an ongoing symbol of their feud on social media.

“TAYLOR! 🐍❤,” one fan commented on Kardashian’s LV snake photograph. “Little taylor swift 🐍,” another fan said.

Because it is unclear what Kardashian could be shading Swift for now, the star may be using the snake symbolism to hint that Kourtney Kardashian‘s relationship with boyfriend Younes Bendjima is in flux. Over the weekend, Kourtney reportedly unfollowed Bendjima on Instagram and deleted her account for a few hours. Bendjima also made his Instagram account private, but a few hours later, Kourtney’s account was back, she followed her beau again and Bendjima’s account became public.

Or, despite all of our theorizing about what Kardashian’s photo means, the star could just be introducing us to the new Kardashian West family pet.

A few weeks ago, Kardashian posted a photo on Snapchat of her recycling and trash bins at home, which were painted with the exact same LV symbol as Little Louis.

Not long after Kardashian unveiled sexy photos from her shoot with Odda Magazine where she posed in Fendi crouched in front of the two bins.

Kim Kardashian/Snapchat

And one day after announcing the birth of her daughter Chicago West, Kardashian posted a photo of the LV pattern leading fans to believe her daughter’s name (unannounced at the time) was inspired by the iconic designer’s moniker.