Originally written on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 7/6/14
Animal rights activists are up in arms about a Texas Tech University cheerleader's African hunting trips that she had publicized on Facebook.The photos of Kendall Jones posing proudly beside the big game carcasses caused an uproar and forced the social media outlet to delete the trophy shots showing the 19-year-old next to elephants, lions, leopards and rhinos shot or tranquilized by her.The Texas native has been uploading these controversial pictures to Facebook to promote her hunting career and hopes to host a TV show on hunting.Facebook removed some of the images  after more than a quarter of a million animal lovers signed a petition urging CEO Mark Zuckerberg to take down the photos because they encourage poaching."I'd love to drop kick you into a lions’ den, see how you do without your gun," someone commented on a picture of her smiling over the body of a leopard she just killed.Jones, however, views herself as a conservationist and argues that hunting rare animals actually protects wildlife and is a good way to ensure their survival."Hunters are the biggest conservationists there are," she said. "We want animal populations to grow and thrive!"According to Jones, whose family raises exotic animals, these rare beasts' value to hunters is the incentive for animal keepers to maintain the population."This is a conservation effort to assure [sic] that they never do become extinct," claims the marketing and sports therapy major.The Big 12 sophomore first traveled to Africa to start hunting the Big Five — African lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, African leopard and African rhino — with her father when she was 13. She said the family pays the local government a fee which allows them to track and shoot big game.Her first kill was reportedly a rare white rhino.Gimme a T! Gimme an E! Gimme an X! Aw dang it ... just gimme a .416 Remington.
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