At 19 years old, the Texas Tech undergrad Kendall Jones has managed to incite an enormous amount of controversy thanks to her love of big game hunting.
In the mostly male-dominated sport of hunting, Jones’s blonde hair, cheerful smile and pink hunting bow are, to some, an unexpected sight next to massive dead or sedated lions, elephants, and hippopotamuses.
Perhaps for that reason, her many detractors have taken up residence on her Facebook page, trolling her with anti-big game hunting comments and, of course, death threats.
“Trophy hunting majestic and rare animals so you can get paid by the people who sponsor you is sick!” wrote Ryan Neal in a comment on Jones’s page that received hundreds of “likes” on Facebook. “You’re a bimbo with a bow looking for a pay day, you have a unique opportunity to make bow hunting more mainstream for young women maybe even my daughter one day. Don’t make the rest of us look bad with this crap!”
“I hope you get eaten by a lion you cow,” wrote another, Thomas Byrne, to the tune of more than 700 likes.
The British tabloid The Sun published a feature on Jones on Monday (headline: Baby Faced Killer) which only fueled the sexist vitriol.
“Can honestly say I hope this sick cow gets raped in Africa or gets aids or malaria,” wrote @Carlhall15 on Twitter.
— Carl Hall (@Carlhall15) June 30, 2014
Days earlier, three separate online petition — two on Change.org, and another on Avaaz.org — called on Facebook to remove Jones’s page. The three petitions had garnered about 50,000 signatures by Tuesday.
That’s an enormous amount of attention for an otherwise obscure 19-year old college student who has only recently raised a more public profile.
By age 14, Jones had already killed an African elephant, a lion, a Cape buffalo, a leopard, and a white rhino, the sought after “big 5″ game animals. Her exploits were professionally recorded and put on a DVD, according to Jones.
The goal, according to Jones’s biography, is to get a television contract with the Sportsman Channel. Jones says that she is working with Executive Producer Brian “Pigman” Quaca for the eight-episode series, which is “targeted to debut” in early 2015. A spokesman for the Sportsman Channel was not able to confirm that the show is in the works.
At a time when it is possible to go from complete obscurity to millions of followers on social media and mainstream prominence thanks to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, the controversy surrounding Jones’s hunting has only helped her Facebook following balloon.
That isn’t to say that the process has been pretty.
Jones has defended her activities, which she says are part of population control efforts, and she has emphasized her participation in “Green Hunts” that dart animals so that veterinarians and animal conservationists can take blood samples.
None of that seems to have appeased her critics.
As her followers grow, so do her detractors. Some Jones’s photos have received thousands of comments, many of them negative.
“The lion don’t mind the opinion of a sheep,” Jones wrote in a June 7 post. “If you don’t like or agree with what I am doing, then don’t be on my page.”