Target: Kendall Jones, 19-year-old big game hunter
Goal: Tell the young American to remove pictures of her posing with her kills from the internet and to cease hunting threatened and endangered species
Kendall Jones, like many people, enjoys hunting. She has made several trips to Africa and hunted down many large animals including lions, hippos, zebras and leopards. Many of these animals are quite endangered. While her hunts are legal, since she pays the governments of each country for the right to hunt, animal conservationists have widely criticized the young woman for encouraging big game hunting of threatened species.
Jones claims that her killing is part of a conservation effort, and that hunting animals like lions allows farmers to keep lions on their properties. Without any animal control farmers would not be able to raise lions for fear of them getting out of hand, causing populations to dwindle further. This argument, however, fails to hold up in the face of her slaughter of a white rhino–a species with a population of only 20,000 according to the World Wildlife Fund.
Jones has also said that she hopes to land a spot on a television show, leading many to believe that she is using these wild animals to gain popularity through controversy. Not only is she casually killing wild African animals for no good reason, she is making a mockery of their lives by posing with their carcasses on Facebook. Posting pictures for the sake of showing off and causing controversy is disrespectful to the animals, and downright distasteful.
Call on Kendall Jones to rethink her actions, to cease hunting threatened species and to delete photos of her posing with kills from the internet.
Dear Ms. Jones,
Giving you the benefit of the doubt, perhaps you are hunting down these big game animals in fair chases. Because you pay the nations’ governments for the privilege, it is all perfectly legal. That money can indeed be used to help struggling countries (though there is no guarantee that it will). And scientists are able to extract DNA in some cases from the animals you have hunted. This is the rationale you have used to justify your slaughter of threatened animals.
I object to the argument that these animals should be hunted as a part of conservation efforts. If you truly believe that hunting these animals is helping them in the long run, then show them some respect. Stop posting pictures online and using your hunted game as a means to get attention. Take the Facebook page down, as a first step. And I strongly urge you to cease hunting any species listed as threatened, near-threatened or endangered–whether legally or otherwise. Such disregard for life is more likely to earn you infamy than fame.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Eduardo Zárate via Flickr