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Texas Tech Cheerleader Criticized for Hunting Endangered Animals in Africa [UPDATE]

Kendall Jones, a 19-year-old big game hunter and aspiring hunting show host, is under fire for posting photos of her big African game trophies.

UPDATE: Facebook has removed “The Kendall Jones Hate Page” from their site after receiving several complaints from the sportsmen community.

The page was a platform for hateful comments, death threats and criticism against Jones hunting pictures and activities.

“I am truly proud of how our community rose up and helped dismantle this page,” said U.S. Sportsmen Alliance President and CEO, Nick Pinizzotto. “This is a huge statement from the hunting community that we will not stand for this type of behavior.”

The photos at the center of controversy depict Jones smiling over dead elephants, lions, hippos and other rare game animals.

Jones claims the photos show her hunting skills and dedication towards animal conservation efforts. She maintains the hunts were all legally conducted on game preserves and partially intended to help conservation efforts for the rare animals.

But her critics call the beaming social media pics deplorable, claiming they are being used to land Jones a television deal.

A number of the photos were taken during Jones’s recent big game hunt in Zimbabwe. Footage from her hunt will be featured in a show on the Sportsman Channel in 2015, according to Grand View Outdoors.

The uproar over the photos started in late June after Jones posted photos from her trip to Zimbabwe on her Facebook page, “Kendall Takes Wild.” The photos quickly went viral, drawing strong support from hunters and widespread criticism from animal lovers around the world. On June 22, a petition launched to have Facebook remove her Facebook page. At the time this article was posted, the petition had more than 114,000 signatures. And, a group of South Africans started a petition to ban Jones from entering African states. The negative backlash against Jones has actually drawn more attention to her cause. In just a couple weeks, she gained more than 130,000 Facebook followers.

Below are some of the photos that are causing the uproar. What do you think about these images?

Jones standing over an African elephant, one of the most endangered animals in Africa. Photo: Kendall Jones/Facebook

On her Facebook page, Jones wrote that this elephant was butchered and used to feed a small village.

Photo: Kendall Jones/Facebook
Photo: Kendall Jones/Facebook

Here’s what Jones wrote about hunting leopards on her Facebook page:

“There are many parts of Zimbabwe where there is an abundant population of Leopard that wreak havoc on the livestock of the farmers in the village. Instead of the villagers killing the leopard to prevent livestock damage, permits are sold to hunters to do this for them.”

Photo: Kendall Jones/Facebook

“Controlling the male lion population is important within large fenced areas like these,” Jones writes on her Facebook page. “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.”

Photo: Kendall Jones/Facebook

The photo above of Jones with an endangered white rhino is one of the most hotly contested photos in the collection. She says this rhino was darted and is still alive.

“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.” 

In the photo below,  you’ll see Jones as a child standing next to a dead white rhino that she shot as part of her quest to complete “The Big 5” (rhino, elephant, cape buffalo, leopard and lion).

Photo: Kendall Jones/Facebook
Photo: Kendall Jones/Facebook

Jones began hunting in Africa with her father at the age of 9. Since then, she’s hunted several game species across Africa.

On her Facebook page, she wrote that she’s aiming to have her own hunting show by January of 2015.

What do you think of these pictures? Share your thoughts in comments section below. 

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Texas Tech Cheerleader Criticized for Hunting Endangered Animals in Africa [UPDATE]