Kendall Jones is a 19-year-old Texas Tech student and cheerleader. Cross paths with her on the street and you’d probably think she was just like any typical college student. Take a visit to her Facebook page, however, and you’ll be introduced to a world more often associated with a grizzled man.
Jones is a big game hunter. Her Facebook page is littered with safari photos of animals that she has shot – images that have ignited heavy backlash from Facebook users. They have even sparked a set of petitions, one of which reads:
For the sake of all animals, especially the animals in the African region… where hunters are going for fun just to kill an animal! Some people have been reporting the pages lately but it seems Facebook is not concerned about what Kendall Jones is promoting in her page.
Despite the public outcry, Jones stands firmly behind her hunting and contribution to wildlife conservation. She has even offered in-depth reasoning behind her specific hunts. Below is a response regarding the killing of a leopard in Zimbabwe:
We hunted Leopard in a Communal Lands area of Zimbabwe where leopard had killed 107 head of cattle over a single year. 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. By selling the permits, not only is a problemed animal taken care of, but the money for the permit goes back into the community for water wells, schools and community improvements. These people in this area live in mud huts and have no electricity, the money derived from hunting is badly needed to help just provide the bare necessities such as water and shelter. All of these people pretty much work on a barter system of trading crops, chickens, goats and cattle between eachother to live throughout the year. After 14 days of hard hunting, getting up at 3am, walking miles upon miles cutting tracks, I finally took my leopard. This is most definitely the hardest hunt I have ever been on. Thanks Comre Safaris for this experience of a lifetime.
Yet, despite her attempt to educate individuals on Facebook, the criticism has not stopped pouring in. In the time it took to write this post, Jones picked up thousands of followers – most of whom have strong opinions on her hunting practices.
Following are a handful of the photos that have caused the chaos. For more of Jones’ reasoning behind each hunt, and to read the responses from users, visit her Facebook page.