News

Facebook removes hunting photos of Texas teen that raised ire

Facebook has removed some photographs of a Texas teenager posing with freshly killed animals she hunted during a recent safari in South Africa that had been criticized by users as inappropriate, the company said on Wednesday.

Kendall Jones, 19, a cheerleader at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, set off a social media storm after she posted a series of photos of animals she killed, smiling in one picture as she hugs a lifeless leopard hanging limply from her arms.

Facebook said some photos were deleted from her page because they violated its policies regarding animal images.

"We remove reported content that promotes poaching of endangered species, the sale of animals for organized fight or content that includes extreme acts of animal abuse," the company said. It did not provide specific information about the photos removed.


Texas cheerleader Kendall Jones has infuriated many in the online community after posting photos that show her smiling while standing over wildlife she shot in Africa. Photos: Courtesy of Kendall Jones

Jones defended her actions, saying in a Facebook post she took inspiration from former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, a hunter and conservationist.

"How can it be possible that someone can love the earth, and take from the earth in the name of conservation? For some folks, they'll never understand. For the rest of us ... we were born that way. God Bless Teddy," Jones said.

But criticism was heavy, with one post branding the hunts barbaric garnering 20,000 comments.

More than 130,000 people signed an online petition asking Facebook to remove Jones' photos, saying they promoted animal cruelty.

"You can see the thrill in her expression and eyes from these photos that she enjoyed the KILLING of these animals," read one post.

- Reuters