Texas Tech cheerleader’s African hunting page goes wild

A Texas Tech cheerleader shot to the center of controversy for pictures she took next to exotic animals that she killed herself. (CNN/KCBD)
A Texas Tech cheerleader shot to the center of controversy for pictures she took next to exotic animals that she killed herself. (CNN/KCBD)

LUBBOCK, Texas (CNN/KCBD) — A Texas Tech cheerleader shot to the center of controversy for pictures she took next to exotic animals that she killed herself.

Tempers are flaring in response to pictures like the ones in the video, with Jones’ posts that say she is on a mission to conserve African wildlife.

Still, some aren’t so sure.

Anti-hunting activists are taking to social media to voice their disapproval, and an online petition was started to get her off Facebook.

Her page, formerly Kendall Takes Wild, has skyrocketed to more than 270,500 likes.

KCBD reached out to Tim Gafford, president of Lubbock’s chapter of Safari Club International.

This group of hunters specializes in wildlife conservation, and he says it’s not about just getting a kill.

“You don’t just go out and kill everything you see,” said wildlife expert Tim Gafford. “You have a professional hunter that tells you what to do and when.”

Gafford says African safaris are some of the best, well-organized hunts and businesses in the world, and the profit goes both ways.

“The money we raise and the money we spend go to conserve the very animals,” said Gafford.

And this isn’t a cheap hobby.

Hunts like these can cost up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In a statement from Jones’ family, they say more than $160,000 have been spent on the trip — without travel and lodging. They all stay in the villages where she’s hunting.

“We are giving money to put these kids back in school,” said Gafford. “Wild animals have killed their fathers, and they’re on the streets.”

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