Kendall Jones: Why One 19-Year-Old Cheerleader Is Hunting And Killing Endangered Species

by Christina Hanscom

Kendall Jones, 19, is receiving global media attention for hunting big game. By big game, I mean endangered species in Africa.

I couldn't believe my eyes as I scanned online content and photos of the blonde cheerleader posing with murdered (or tranquilized) lions, elephants, buffalos, hippos and so forth. It's some kind of joke, right? Wrong.

I am someone who loves animals. Red pandas are one of my favorite animals and they're an endangered species from Indonesia. They're so cute and fluffy, and I don't understand how anyone could want to kill them. Even those on the endangered species list that aren't as adorable and cuddly as red pandas deserve to live.

Endangered species deserve to be protected.

The Texas Tech student’s love of hunting stems from her father. She began accompanying him on hunting trips in Texas and then to Africa when he was hunting the Big 5.

She was only 9 years old. For those of you who don't know, the Big 5 consists of the following animals: the African elephant, black rhinoceros, cape buffalo, African lion and African leopard. The black rhinoceros is critically endangered. My thoughts? Jones needs to be stopped.

Jones’ first kill was a rare African white rhinoceros on her second trip to Africa. She was 13 years old.

She says that her efforts are of conservation and that some of the animals she poses with and posts on Facebook aren’t dead, but are simply tranquilized for educational purposes.

Capturing these animals for educational purposes is less controversial, but can we trust that Jones isn’t killing these animals after they served their educational purposes?

How is hunting and killing some of these endangered creatures part of conservation in any way? Her argument is that some preserves do not have the space for all these endangered creatures. Fine, but wouldn’t a better solution be to build more or larger preserves?

People don’t murder children at orphanages to make more room. That would be inhumane. How is killing animals, especially endangered ones, any less inhumane?

While several petitions to remove Jones from Facebook and ban her from hunting in Africa have begun to circulate, the Texas native also has supporters who are rallying behind her via Facebook.

The John Lennon quote, “Don’t hate what you don’t understand,” is posted with a photo of a person in a camouflage suit holding a rifle.

I don’t understand hunting for fun and I certainly don’t understand murdering species that are close to extinction. People like Jones make me truly question humanity.

Some of her supporters say that what she is doing is okay because she is paying African governments to kill the animals. But, I feel like that excuse only shows the greed and corruption of these governments.

In my opinion, people like Jones are destroying our planet. They're self-absorbed and do not care about the consequences of their actions. They are killing our animals, our planet and our humanity. This type of behavior is absolutely disgusting and I find it to be completely unsettling.

Here is the link to her Facebook page. Please be warned the photos are disturbing. A South African citizen started a petition to ban Jones from the country.

I signed the petition yesterday. Here is the link. If you feel the same way I do, please sign it, as well. If you think Jones' actions are acceptable, I question your humanity.

Photo Courtesy: Facebook