Kendall Jones, a Texas Tech University cheerleader and avid hunter, has sparked outrage on Facebook after posting pictures of herself posing next to the carcasses that she has hunted and killed in South Africa.
During her recent hunting excursion, Kendall has hunted and posed with majestic animals such as lions, antelope, leopards, hippos and zebras. The unsettling images have caused more than 120,000 people to sign a petition asking that Kendall's page be removed from Facebook.
"For the sake of all animals, especially the animals in the African region…where hunters are going for fun just to kill an animal!" the petition reads. "Some people have been reporting the pages lately but it seems Facebook is not concerned about what Kendall Jones is promoting in her page."
In a statement obtained by Today, Kendall's family defended her hunts. "First and foremost, it’s imperative to make mention that all of Kendall's hunts in Zimbabwe and South Africa were 100% legal with proper tags and licenses awarded on a pre-approved quota by the countries officials and wildlife department," the statement read.
"Secondly, the tags, licenses, and fees purchased in addition to the services provided by local trackers, skinners, and assistants totaled over $160,000 USD, not including travel and/or production costs. In Zimbabwe, where over 70% of the country's population is classified as poor or extremely poor, this money, along with the $200 million hunters provide annually to the overall African economy, can provide a great deal of stimulus for the local economies," the statement added. "
In the most rural areas, most people are unemployed and depend on bartering as a way of living and their economy welcomes hunters. We're very proud of Kendall and Cody in not only helping to conserve these species for future generations, but also for helping contribute both money and jobs to an extremely poor area of Africa."
Despite the intense backlash, Kendall said that she will "continue to hunt and spread the knowledge of hunting and wildlife conservation."
Image via Facebook