Cheerleader Turned Extreme Hunting Enthusiast Taking Heat For Big Game Facebook Photos
Posted by: Pablo Pereira, Meteorologist / Reporter / Web Producer - bio | email
Global animal lovers are up in arms over a teenage Texas girl's love of killing big African game, so much so that they're even demanding she be banned from posting pictures of herself smiling alongside her trophies online.
Nineteen-year-old Kendall Jones claims photos of dead hippos, elephants, lions and other beasts on Facebook are a testament to her hunting skills and dedication to game preservation.
But critics are appalled by the teen's beaming social media and are calling Kendall sick and depraved for killing the rare animals and boasting about it online.
An online petition to force Kendall to remove her page because it promotes animal cruelty had gained over 40,000 signatures in just a week.
'For the sake of all animals,' reads the petition as it implored animal lovers to sign, 'especially the animals in the African region... where hunters are going for fun just to kill an animal!'
Jones, whose Facebook indicates she 'is looking to host a TV show in January 2015,' maintains she is doing what's best for the preserves, where there isn't always space for even threatened species like elephants or lions.
'Controlling the male lion population is important within large fenced areas like these,' Jones writes. 'Funds from a hunt like this goes partially to the government for permits but also to the farm owner as an incentive to keep and raise lions on their property.'
Jones's photos show her posing with bagged zebras, hugging a dead leopard, and smiling beside elephants she's killed.
One particular photo, in which she's posing alongside a an extremely endangered rhinoceros, has her critics especially steaming, but the Texas Tech cheerleader says it was alive and well.
'The vet drew blood, took DNA samples, took body and head measurements, treated a leg injury and administered antibiotics. I felt very lucky to be part of such a great program and procedure that helps the White Rhino population through conservation,' she wrote. However, Jones has in her quest to bag the Big 5 African game animals (lion, elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard, and White/Black rhinoceros) shot a white rhino, which number around 20,000.
'The first animal I ever shot was a White Rhino with a .416 Remington!!' the teen writes on her Facebook page.
Because of her enthusiasm for killing rare game and what they say is her dubious standing as a conservationist, some critics say Jones should be banned from hunting in Africa completely.
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