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
Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
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

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas