Kendall Jones, Texas Tech cheerleader/big game hunter.

Kendall Jones, Texas Tech cheerleader/big game hunter.

This petite, nineteen year old Texas Tech cheerleader has apparently caused quite a bit of outrage recently by posting Facebook photos of her big game kills in Africa. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/cheerleader-19-loves-shooting-safari-article-1.1850383

I am not sure quite what to make of her. Is she is shameless attention whore, or is she actually a thoughtful conservationist, as she claims? Perhaps she is a bit of both. Seeing anyone gloating over the carcasses of animals as majestic as elephants, lions, leopards or rhinos, most of which are seriously endangered, is disturbing. Still, she makes the case that she is actually helping the threatened populations of these creatures by giving them a legitimate monetary value for the locals they otherwise would not have. This in turn actually helps preserve the wildlife. A dead elephant helps to feed many local families. Perhaps she is helping, perhaps not. There is a movement to force Facebook to take down her page; I don’t agree with that, as once again we see that the first response for people who don’t agree with someone’s life is to try and silence them in the public sphere.

Most hunters are actually quite sensitive about the ecological fragility of our world, more so than most people. They are interested in the preservation of wildlife, not only for their own interests of hunting them, but for the overall balance of nature. I don’t have a problem with hunting. It is, after all, one of our oldest human instincts.

A bit too enthusiastic about this kill?

A bit too enthusiastic about this kill?

I can only hope she is following that mode, and not simply trying to make a name for herself by killing big, and often endangered, game in Africa. If the later is true, then she is shameless attention whore (apparently she is looking to start some sort of reality tv show, which makes me wonder about her real motives). Time will tell what her true motives are. Hopefully they are good, and will end up being good for the wildlife of Africa. It is a difficult balance at the moment, and will be for the foreseeable future: the demands of local populations, industrialization, expanding urban areas, and the traditional domain of many of the wildlife of Africa (as well as other continents). At the moment it does not look good for the future of these animals; but there is still time to preserve them, before they disappear from the wild. Once that happens, if it happens, the world will be a much poorer place.

A chick packing heat is hot.

A chick packing heat is hot.

Whatever the case, she is hot, and a girl carrying heat is hot.