NELSPRUIT, SOUTH AFRICA — A Texas Cheerleader who has gained Internet fame overnight and sparked controversy by posting pictures online of big game animals she had hunted was attacked by a leopard on Monday and airlifted to a hospital in Nelspruit, South Africa.
Kendall Jones is a 17-year-old from Texas who has gained popularity quickly after posting images on her Facebook page of herself posing with wild animals she had hunted. She had received heat, including many death threats, from animal activists prompting Facebook to remove the images from her page.
Kendall had been on vacation in South Africa with her parents. They had made several stops in Africa before arriving at the Kruger National Park to hunt.
According to eyewitnesses, Kendall was loading equipment into a truck when she attacked by a leopard that was able to sneak up on the group unnoticed. A guide that was travelling with Jones was able to shoot the leopard before it inflicted severe damage.
“The leopard came out of nowhere and went straight for Kendall as if it was on a mission,” said Mehleli Ndlovu, a South African wildlife guide. “She just dropped to the ground and started screaming about how she would never hunt again. It was very odd. I was able to shoot the leopard quickly. It only got a couple scratches on her but she was crying like she was going to die and insisted that we get her to a hospital.”
Kendall received several lacerations to one leg. She was airlifted to the Nelspruit Medi-Clinic where she received stitches to one wound on her upper leg and was released shortly after.