Spanish WWF sacks King Juan Carlos over elephant hunt

 
King Juan Carlos, file pic The vote to abolish the position of honorary president was carried by a 94% majority

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The conservation group WWF in Spain has removed King Juan Carlos as its honorary president for going on an elephant hunting trip in Botswana.

The WWF's Spanish chapter voted overwhelmingly to abolish the post, a statement said, adding that the safari did not sit well with WWF goals.

The king was widely criticised after news of the trip emerged in April, in the middle of a severe economic crisis.

Spain's royal family has faced a series of embarrassments this year.

King Juan Carlos apologised to the Spanish people for the hunting trip, which only came to light when he was flown home from Africa after breaking a hip.

An online petition calling for his resignation from the WWF post accumulated almost 85,000 signatures by the time he made his public apology.

'Incompatible'

The controversy prompted Spanish newspapers to publish a photo of the king on a previous safari, in which he is seen standing with a gun beside a dead elephant.

"Although this type of hunting is legal and regulated, many members consider it to be incompatible with the position of honorary patron of an international organisation that aims to protect the environment," the WWF statement said on Saturday.

The vote to abolish the position of honorary president was carried by a 94% majority, it said.

The king is generally popular in Spain, but the royal family has been beset by a series of embarrassing news stories this year.

The king's son-in-law, Inaki Urdangarin, has been questioned in connection with a corruption scandal involving claims that he used public funds to organise sports events.

 

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  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 151.

    No one would have known if he had not broke his hip... Hmmm. Karma

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 150.

    So it's OK to shoot poachers who kill elephants to eke out a living in a country dying of starvation, but it's immoral to cull elephants that devastate the crops of already starving people ? Human values have got mixed up somewhere along the line, an elephant carcase can feed a lot of people and eating it is better than letting it feed vultures or hyenas or just letting it rot on the ground.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 149.

    There is a humane way of culling animals. Of course we have to accept some peoples eg eskimo's etc do hunt for survival and this is only right. However for parasitical imoral evil Rich people to use this as a 'sport' needs a violent reaction in my opionion. We need more militant animal and eviornmental action globally when it comes to hunting as a sport.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 148.

    100 - " Huge and growing numbers of elephants are devastating places like the Chobe in Botswana which will lead to the extinction of other species."

    A mind boggling comment when one needs to consider how many elephants have been displaced and devastated by increasing human populations who are evidently the main culprits for extinctions of 1000s of species globally.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 147.

    Anyone who thinks that humans who hunt for food don't enjoy it are deluding themselves.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 146.

    People seem to be missing the point. Killing animals & culling isn't the issue here. It's all about killing for fun instead of killing as a necessity.
    People who kill for entertainment, pleasure and for their own personal gratification are the ones that are the issue. Like good old King Juan with a trophy picture of him and the elephant he's just bagged. A grand day out for the king! What a hero.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 145.

    Ha!

  • Comment number 144.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 143.

    Good thing for Carlos that Kings and Queens are an endangered species or the elephants might be hunting him too. Elephants don't need guns to hunt and kill kings. They just sneak up on them when they're asleep and stomp them once like an insect. Only problem is that elephants don't have walls to hang their trophy heads on. What good is a dead king anyway, elephants can't eat them?

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 142.

    Yeh, another member of the world's monarchs leads the way in showing why the world does not need them.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 141.

    Good move, shame it isn't repeated in the UK. Queens grandson is involved in shooting Hen Harriers to extinction in the UK yet we smile and bow graciously and have her as head of the RSPB.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 140.

    Instead of eliminating elephants, perhaps we should eliminate kings. The era of inheriting privilege and top posts is past.

  • rate this
    +10

    Comment number 139.

    Hunting elephants in this day and age is as acceptable as hunting dolphins, chimpanzees, gorillas or orangutans. I.e. it isn't.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 138.

    @ Helen: How do you propose limiting the numbers then? If the population is too large for its available sustenance, disease and starvation follow.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 137.

    117 Star

    ". You cant hunt an elephant for any reason,legal or not, and be part of the WWF."
    ==

    Could you supply us with a few names of these so-called hunters of elephants who are also members of the WWF?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 136.

    Suidwes. You have a point about culling elephants, but what people get exercised about is the sight of European men taking pleasure in the slaughter of a magnificent wild animal. Schadenfreude is often an ugly thing to admit to, but when I heard about His Majesty's accident I laughed like a drain.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 135.

    Elephants and many other animals share a weird relationship with Humans. We film them, especially their eating and mating habits for some reason.
    We have countless Cooking/Eating TV shows. Human mating habits are off limits. WHY? If 4 or 5 Elephants turn up in your Bedroom tonight with lights and cameras, are you going to shoot them?
    Teach kids good eating and safe sex. BTW... are Tigers tasty?

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 134.

    Every form of life has a right to continue to exist and thrive. As for Elephants, let's feed them rather than kill them. What HARM do they do ?
    Plant trees that they like. E-mail and Text messages have replaced paper. We don't need as many trees anymore. Dig up all the sand from your local Beach and see how many tourists you attract. What a Safari !!!

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 133.

    Just to be aware: the public outcry in Spain was because the King was on a luxury trip in Botswana while his country was going down the pan. It had very little (dare I say nothing) to do with animal rights. It's an obvious statement about a country which idolises bullfighting, but don't think that Spaniards have suddenly become defenders of animal rights.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 132.

    Royalty, like other instances of rich elite, should start focusing on doing good things for the planet and all 'earthlings'. I'm so tired of hearing how callous the rich are.

 

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