Kendall Jones: Texan cheerleader, 19, provoking worldwide fury over hunting pictures on Facebook

Kendall Jones, who claims she is 'doing her part in conservation to make a difference', is now the subject of at least two petitions

The smiling blonde cheerleader happily posing in the photograph looks for all the world like an ordinary Texan student, but with one crucial difference: she's posing with a recently shot dead lion.

Kendall Jones, a 19-year-old Texas Tech university student, has provoked worldwide fury after posting pictures of herself smiling next to animals she hunted, including a lion, rhinoceros, antelope, leopard, elephant, zebra and hippopotamus.

Ms Jones, who claims she is “doing [her] part in conservation to make a difference”, is now the subject of at least two petitions, one of which has 100,000 signatures and calls for her page to be removed from Facebook.

The petition on AVAAZ.org asks people to sign "for the sake of all animals, especially the animals in the African region...where hunters are going for fun just to kill an animal".

Another petition, on the website change.org calls for Kendall Jones to be denied access to African states.

The photographs have provoked a similar response to one posted by US TV presenter Melissa Bachman who sparked controversy by posting a picture of herself next to a lion she'd just "stalked and killed" in South Africa.

Kendall Jones' critics have variously described her as "sick" and "depraved" for killing the animals and boasting about it online.

However, not everyone is offended. Her Facebook page has over 17,000 "likes" and frequently draws positive comments.

Ms Jones, who made her first kill, a White Rhino, on her second trip to Africa when she was 13, has also claimed that not all of the animals featured in the pictures are actually dead. Some have been tranquilized for educational use, she claims.

Her Facebook page states that she "is looking to host a TV show in January 2015," and repeatedly claims that her actions are best for the reserves and help control population numbers.

"Hunters are the biggest conservationists there are," she told the New York Daily News, adding "we want animal populations to grow and thrive!"

She wrote on Facebook that: "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."

One particular image of Jones, posing with an endangered rhinoceros, incensed animal rights activists.

Jones defended the image saying that it showed a live animal: "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.

Despite her protestations Jones' Facebook page is full of negative comments. "I'd love to drop kick you into a lions’ den, see how you do without your gun," one commenter writes.

Another Facebook user writes: "No matter how you look at it, seeing people smiling over the dead body of such a majestic animal is just sad."

Another is less diplomatic: "You are absolute scum. I hope a gorgeous African animal takes its own revenge on you one day for all the beautiful souls you have shot."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
News
Down-to-earth: Winstone isn't one for considering his 'legacy'
people
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sauce Recruitment: Retail Planning Manager - Home Entertainment UK

salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - London - up to £40,000

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...

Recruitment Genius: Product Quality Assurance Technologist - Hardline & Electric

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The role in this successful eco...

Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000 QA Tes...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower