The smiling blonde cheerleader happily posing in the photograph looks for all the world like an ordinary Texan student, but with one crucial difference: she’s posing with a recently shot dead lion.

Kendall Jones, a 19-year-old Texas Tech university student, has provoked worldwide fury after posting pictures of herself smiling next to animals she hunted, including a lion, rhinoceros, antelope, leopard, elephant, zebra and hippopotamus.

Ms Jones, who claims she is “doing [her] part in conservation to make a difference”, is now the subject of at least two petitions, one of which has 100,000 signatures and calls for her page to be removed from Facebook.

The petition on AVAAZ.org asks people to sign “for the sake of all animals, especially the animals in the African region…where hunters are going for fun just to kill an animal”.

Another petition, on the website change.org calls for Kendall Jones to be denied access to African states.

The photographs have provoked a similar response to one posted by US TV presenter Melissa Bachman who sparked controversy by posting a picture of herself next to a lion she’d just “stalked and killed” in South Africa.

Kendall Jones’ critics have variously described her as “sick” and “depraved” for killing the animals and boasting about it online.

However, not everyone is offended. Her Facebook page has over 17,000 “likes” and frequently draws positive comments.

Ms Jones, who made her first kill, a White Rhino, on her second trip to Africa when she was 13, has also claimed that not all of the animals featured in the pictures are actually dead. Some have been tranquilized for educational use, she claims… see more

source: Independent UK