This is Kendall Jones, a 19-year-old cheerleader from Cleburne, Texas. In a very short time, she’s become a well-known figure on Facebook. That’s because she’s posted on her Kendall Jones Facebook page dozens of photos of herself alongside the dead bodies of rare animals she hunts on African safaris.
Jones claims these photos are a testament to her hunting skills and dedication to game preservation. As she explains of her hunts, “Controlling the male lion population is important within large fenced areas like these. 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.”
Others are not so enthusiastic about the young woman’s claims, calling her sick for killing these rare creatures and boasting about it on the social network. Critics are viewing the images of her with dead animals — and her quest to bag the “Big 5” African game animals, which include a lion, elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard, and White/Black rhinoceros (she’s already shot a white rhino, which number around 20,000) — as something the public shouldn’t see. They feel like her presence on Facebook is encouraging such behavior.
To stop her public message, an online petition has been created asking Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to remove Jones’ page because they believe it promotes animal cruelty. Thus far, this petition has gained more than 46,000 signatures. A second petition from Change.org, which originated from South Africa, has bigger goals: hoping to stop her from hunting in Africa. It reads:
Kendall Jones is an American born hunter who has entered the continent and has been hunting African wildlife under the facade of conservation. She has publicly stated that she hopes to have a television hunting show and she is using endangered and helpless African animals as a stepping to further her popularity on social media platforms.
She has already received much protest, peaceful or otherwise from a wide variety of people from all over the world on her social profiles, and has, on those platforms, visibly scoffed and shaken off those protests, claiming that protestors are misinformed, or simply the “sheep” to her “lion” morals.
With enough support globally we can take a step in the right direction with regards to animal conservation, and help put an end to practices such as these, in hopes of conserving what precious little is left of our natural world.
Regarding the controversy, Jones wrote on her Facebook page, “All the anti-hunters posting negative comments and sharing my photos on their page has helped me get over 600 likes in the past 48 hours.”
What do you think? Check out the photos above (from Jones’ Facebook page) and weigh in.