Texas teen causes uproar over "big game" hunting pictures

Texas teen causes uproar over "big game" hunting pictures

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Photos posted on 19-year-old Kendall Jones' Facebook have caused an uproar, sparking controversy, a petition, and even death threats. Photos posted on 19-year-old Kendall Jones' Facebook have caused an uproar, sparking controversy, a petition, and even death threats.
CLEBURNE, Texas (KDFW) -- A Texas teenager has set Facebook afire after posting pictures of her African hunting safari.

Critics are bashing 19-year-old Kendall Jones for taking part in "conservation hunts" and glorifying the kills by posting pictures online. Supporters are also coming to her defense, saying there is nothing wrong with what she's doing.

Jones, a cheerleader and sophomore at Texas Tech, posted pictures and videos on Facebook of her posing with big game she has shot--including dead lions, elephants, rhinoceros and leopards.  The graphic pictures have sparked a petition demanding she take the pictures down or even be banned from Facebook.

That petition has garnered over 100 thousand signatures and a lot of angry comments.

Jones told her hometown newspaper she's since been victimized by "online bullying" and had "several death threats.”

Jones, who's still currently in Africa, posted video of an elephant being given to villagers to eat. She told the Cleburne Times Review that the money paid to African governments for hunting permits "is badly needed to help provide the bare necessities such as water and shelter."

"Anyone who's ever spent any time in Africa is not likely to buy that any money given to the government finds its way down to the locals,” said animal rights activist and lawyer, Don Feare.

Feare has been to Africa several times on photo safaris, and he scoffs at conservation claims.

"In my opinion, she throws in a little tagging to make herself look better so she can call herself a conservationist,” said Feare. “She's a hunter and she's trying to sell a hunting show."

In fact, Jones says on Facebook that she's taping the hunts for a show on the Sportsman Channel to "spread the knowledge of hunting and wildlife conservation."

Ben Carter and the Dallas Safari Club weathered a similar storm on the internet when it auctioned off a black rhino hunt last December. Like Jones, the winning bidder and his family were plagued with death threats and attacks on the internet.

Carter thinks hunters are increasingly being targeted by what he calls a fringe group of people who simply hate the idea of hunting.

"In my opinion, it's really cyber terrorism is what it is," said Carter. "Hunting is an American tradition that's been here for a long time, and I know we've lost some of our traditions, but I sure hope we don't ever lose that tradition."
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