Kendall Jones: cheerleader defends 'sick' hunting photos

Kendall Jones

Is 19-year-old Texan's hunt for lions, leopards and elephants in Africa a 'thrill kill' or just 'fair game'?

LAST UPDATED AT 14:13 ON Thu 3 Jul 2014

Kendall Jones, a 19-year-old Texan cheerleader, has hit back at critics who described her as "sick" and "depraved" for killing African big game and boasting about it online.

Jones has posted images on Facebook of herself posing with elephants, hippos, leopards and lions that she killed across Africa, sparking outrage from thousands of people online

More than 180,000 people have signed a petition urging Facebook to take down the photos, while more than 90,000 people signed a separate petition calling for her to be banned from Africa altogether. The teenager has since hidden the pictures from public view.

According to Kendall, she takes part in "fair game" hunts, which involve the killing of animals to control populations. Her supporters say that paying to legally hunt big game gives local business people a financial incentive to keep the animal population healthy and breeding.

The Texas Tech University student told her local newspaper, the Cleburne Times Review, that the money for hunting permits helps fund local schools and water wells, the animal meat gives protein to local villagers and that hunting can also prevent livestock damage.

Jones, who hopes to host a television show next year, told the newspaper: "There is not a hunter out there that doesn't care about wildlife."
Writing in The Independent, Mimi Bekhechi says the idea that hunting helps the animals is "as ridiculous as saying that killing humans is the way to solve world hunger".

Left alone, animal populations regulate their own numbers based on the availability of food and a secure habitat, she says, something that hunters manipulate in order to ensure that they have plenty of victims to gun down.

"If Jones did want to help local villagers, she should have spared herself the long plane ride and just donated the money that she spent on airfare and hunting fees," says Bekhechi.

Speaking to the Dallas Morning News, America's Humane Society has described Jones's actions as "nothing more than a thrill kill" and urged her to support "true conservation efforts to combat poaching and protect both animals and communities".

The outcry over Jones's photos comes just six months after Melissa Bachman, the US hunter and TV presenter, caused worldwide outrage when pictures emerged of her posing with a lion she had killed in Limpopo. · 

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"Thrill kill" sums it up pretty well,lets face it she comes from Texas where then teach creationism in schools and take guns to church,these are seriously weird people,their beliefs are the USA equivalent of setting up a caliphate but with fundamental Christianity as the basis and about as attractive to most of us normal.people !!

An uneducated statement is one that involves the blatant use of opinions to stretch an idea.
"She comes from Texas". Obviously, you are not from Texas, for your statement is comprised of pure stereotypes. Let me educate you, being a native Texan myself. We do not ride horses to work. Horses will be found wherever there is land. Which you will find everywhere in the US. We do not teach Creationalism in our schools. We are taught Darwinism and allowed to think for ourselves in terms of religious beliefs. Small towns might have more unified religious systems, school systems, etc. but taking "guns to church" is a hyperbole on the fact that some Texans believe strongly in the political debacle: "open carry".

As for Kendall, I cannot say I agree with her position, but I understand what it is that she is doing to protect other families and their livestock. Let her be. Your two cents are not needed, for her actions are not having a major effect on your life.

Denise - your "reasoned" rebuttal of Les Barrie's statement is, in itself, an intolerance. for too long we in the West have witnessed the excesses of "Americans with guns" - be they in an "official" context, such as the Iraq Wars and in Afghanistan or, even more revealingly, on American home soil - often perpetrated by disgruntled, disillusioned and immature individuals, in schools, the college campus or simply on the streets.

American culture and laws make it much too easy to access lethal firearms - even to the extent that a soul-searching debate continues within the US as I write, on that very vexed subject.

Like it or not, Denise, America IS inextricably associated in the eyes of the rest of the world as being "gun-happy". The narcissistic posts of this unfeeling young woman do little to dispel that widespread impression. IMHO she should grow up - if she wishes to travel abroad to kill creatures that pose absolutely no physical threat to her, so be it - but she should not expect respect or admiration from the rest of us.

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