Anti-hunting activists outraged by Texas Tech cheerleader - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Anti-hunting activists outraged by Texas Tech cheerleader

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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The professional Facebook page of 19-year-old Kendall Jones has become the center of nationwide controversy.

The Texas Tech cheerleader has been hunting exotic animals since she was 13.

Her Facebook shows dozens of pictures with Jones alongside animals she has shot or treated as part of a “wildlife conservation” project in Zimbabwe.

According to Jones, the efforts are part of preserving the wildlife population and helping maintain the health of the animals.

This summer, Jones shot the final member of the 'Big 5,' which includes the Cape Buffalo, Leopard, Lion, Elephant and Rhino.

Last week Jones posted this in regards to the capture and treatment of a Rhino:

“Here is the S African Vet administering treatment to the White Rhino I darted during the Green Hunt. 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.”

But despite her posts about conservation, her pictures have outraged anti-hunting activists across the country.

An online petition quickly gathered 40,000 signatures to get her Facebook page deactivated. Jones was forced to start another professional page.

In less than 12 hours her page had generated 50,000 more likes.

Many have openly expressed their disapproval of Jones’ hunting, some even threatening her life. 

A second online petition started by a South African citizen is asking the South African government to get Jones banned from the country.

So far it has received 3,000 signatures.

Jones plans to take part in a hunting show set to air this coming January.

"In January 2014, I signed a development contract with award-winning Executive Producer Brian 'Pigman' Quaca for a new series targeted to debut for eight episodes during the first quarter of 2015 on the Sportsman Channel."

Kendall's family and friends released this statement on Tuesday night:

Due to the mass amount of media inquiries regarding Kendall Jones’ recent African Safari, her family, friends, and supporters wish to issue a statement on her behalf.

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.

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, 70% of the country's population is classified as poor or extremely poor.  This money can provide a great deal of stimulus for the local economies in addition to the estimated $200 million annually of which hunters contribute to the overall African economy.  In the most rural areas, where many of these hunts take place, a majority of the people are unemployed and depend on bartering as a way of living.  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.

At this point, we are still on pace to air the content of Kendall's hunts in early 2015.  With regards to the death threats Kendall has received from various members of activist organizations, we would simply ask that these folks consider if threatening to murder a human being for 100% legal behavior makes you worthy of the freedom to express your love for animals.  Although our ideologies may be differ from those making threats, we, as a family, still have a profound respect for human life and the law.

Please direct any additional requests through Kendall's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/kendalltakeswild.

Thank you,

Family, Friends, and Supporters of Kendall Jones

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