Texas Tech Cheerleader's Hunting Photos Spark Outrage
Photos of 19-year-old cheerleader Kendall Jones proudly posing with the dead bodies of rare animals she hunted while on safari in Africa are fueling a firestorm of controversy.
In one photo she is with a slain lion. In another she is sitting next to a cheetah. In another, she is smiling with a zebra, all animals she says she killed herself.
So, who is Kendall Jones? She’s a cute-as-can-be cheerleader at Texas Tech University who put in lots of practice time at the gym, even as a child.
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The college sophomore started hunting big game in Africa when she was just 13. Her Facebook page is dedicated to her sport. "The first animal I ever shot was a White Rhino," she wrote.
Now, there's a public outcry to have her Facebook page removed. More than 150,000 people have signed online petitions. One even appeals directly to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
The social media site has removed some of the photos, declaring in a statement it has a policy against showing pictures that "promote poaching of endangered species or content that includes extreme acts of animal abuse."
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But the abuse on Jones won't let up.
"I am so disgusted by how someone has the audacity to kill endangered animals for sport and then take glamour shots with them,” tweeted one person.
But the college sophomore also has her supporters, like one tweeting: "#KendallJones hunt on."
Another tweet was: "So people have nothing better to do than to crucify a 19 yr old kendall jones because she hunts big game?"
In a statement, Jones' family is defending her hunts saying they are all "100% legal" and the money from her hunting trips "provide a great deal of stimulus for the local economies."