A Texas Tech University cheerleader’s Facebook page is causing an uproar for photos she posted showing her with large game animals she hunted in Africa.
“Remove the page of Kendal [sic] Jones that promotes animal cruelty!” the petition reads.
When Jones started her Facebook page earlier this year, calling it “Kendall Takes Wild,” she didn’t hide what it was all about.
“I grew up in the small town of Cleburne, Texas where my hunting career started,” she wrote in the about section of her Facebook page. “As a child I would go with my dad on all of his hunting adventures watching him on our ranch, as well as, traveling to Africa to see him take his Big 5. I took my first trip to Zimbabwe in Africa with my family in 2004 (age 9) and watched my dad bring many animals home. As badly as I wanted to shoot something I was just too small to hold the guns my dad had brought. I became fascinated with the culture over there and visited one of the elementary schools to deliver candy, coloring books and soccer balls to the under privileged children. This was an eye opening experience for me to see how other children my age lived in a third world country.”
Most recently, the marketing and sports therapy major has been posting photos from a hunt in Zimbabwe.
Some in comments called Jones “scum” for the images.
“How could anyone take the life of such a beautiful animal and SMILE?? I just don’t get it, it’s sick!” another commenter wrote.
After getting hit with criticism, Jones posted a lengthy response to several of her kills.
“Ok I’m gonna explain for the 53567544th time,” she wrote.
“The rhino was a green hunt, meaning it was darted and immobilized in order to draw blood for testing, DNA profiling, microchip ping the horn and treating a massive leg injury most likely caused by lions. People try to say that lions will not attack a hippo, rhino or elephant, quiet the contrary. Lions attack and kill the young of these species. The adults try to fight the lions off and are regularly successful, but do get injuries in the process,” Jones continued.
She then explained that the lion she shot with her bow was within a game reserve in an area “considered fair chase.”
“Lions that have come in and taken over a pride, not only kick the older lion out, but will also kill all of his cubs so that the lioness will come into heat again. Controlling the male lion population is important within large fenced areas like these in order to make sure the cubs have a high survival rate,” Jones said.
“Now to the leopard, this was a free ranging leopard in Zimbabwe on communal land,” Jones wrote later. “The money for the permit goes to the communal council and to their village people. Within this area of approximately 250,000 acres, 107 head of cattle was killed in a single year due to leopard kills. Leopard populations have to be controlled in certain areas. So yes, my efforts do go to conservation efforts and are all fair chase, not canned hunts. In fact these are very mentally and physically challenging hunts, on foot tracking and walking miles and miles a day.”
She also explained elsewhere that meat from some hunts goes on to feed villages.
“Most people say ‘hunting is fine for food’ well, look here are all the people that benefit from this animal!” Jones wrote. “And for all that want to say stuff about hunting is for food all the other animals go to the local villagers that are just trying to get meat! These people only get meat when an animal is shot, they aren’t privileged enough to go to the local grocery store and pay $20 for some steaks! And another thing is that this elephant’s trunk had been caught in a snare put out by poachers!”
She is by no means the first person to get heat for posting hunting photos on Facebook.
The woman heading into her junior year this fall said on Facebook that she signed a contract for a series that will debut on the Sportsman Channel in 2015.
Facebook doesn’t specify online its stance on hunting photos but says it bans content that contains “self-harm or excessive violence.” Leaked guidelines for its content moderators revealed that the company allows photos of “hunting as it occurs in nature.”
(H/T: Daily Mail)