From Wildlife Extra:
A petition in Spain has garnered some 70,000 signatures (still counting, probably way past that now) demanding that King Juan Carlos resign his presidency.
See the petition here.
April 2012. King Juan Carlos of Spain, Honorary President of WWF Spain, is recovering in hospital after breaking his hip in Botswana where he was on an elephant hunt. Apparently it isn’t the first time the King has been shooting big game in Africa, or elsewhere (Apparently he killed a bear in Russia a few years ago too). Whilst not illegal, it shows a complete disregard for his ‘subjects’ and total contempt for his role as ‘Honorary President of WWF Spain’.
There seems to be a strain amongst the rich and obnoxious worldwide that it is OK for them to use their wealth to destroy wildlife for their own pleasure. Donald Trump Junior’s recent elephant hunt in Zimbabwe was bad enough, but at least he has no pretentions to be a leader of conservation and he isn’t the king of a country (God forbid) that is undergoing severe economic problems at the moment.
WWF, who must be deeply embarrassed by this, have issued the following statement:
WWF-Spain requests a meeting with Spain’s royal authorities to share concerns about elephant hunt
We appreciate the deep concerns of many of our supporters and friends who have criticised the the recent participation of His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain in an elephant hunt in Botswana. The secretary general of WWF-Spain, Juan Carlos del Olmo, has written and requested an urgent meeting with the royal authorities to share widespread public concerns and public calls for His Majesty to step down as Honorary President of WWF-Spain.
His Majesty has held the honorary presidency, a symbolic position, since his involvement in the founding of the organization (then known as ADENA in Spain) in 1968. He has no direct involvement in the day-to-day operations of WWF in Spain or elsewhere.
WWF is absolutely committed to the conservation of wild elephants, a commitment we have held since WWF’s founding 50 years ago. We are tackling the biggest threats that elephants face in the wild, including poaching and habitat loss, by working with the governments, local communities and non-governmental partners in the countries where elephants roam to secure a future for this powerful symbol of nature. Decades of hard work by WWF and other conservation groups has resulted in large and expanding populations of elephants in southern Africa, including Botswana, where some 300,000 elephants now roam across the sub-region.
Alex Callinicos recently argued in these pages that the global economic crisis is far from over. The ink had hardly dried on his words when the crisis in Spain started growing to “Greek” proportions: here.
Self-styled ‘hardcore huntress’ [Melissa Bachman] sparks outrage after posting picture of herself with male lion she shot dead on Twitter as thousands sign petition to ban her from South Africa: here.
- Another Operation for His Majesty King Juan Carlos I of Spain. (royalcorrespondent.com)
- Scott to King of Spain: ‘I’ve ridden elephants. I’ve never tried to shoot one.’ (tampabay.com)
- King Juan Carlos to Undergo Ninth Surgical Procedure Since 2010 (hispanicallyspeakingnews.com)
- Spanish royals feel the heat as emails compound fall from grace (theguardian.com)
- Court impounds houses of Spanish king’s son-in-law (telegraph.co.uk)
- €1m a year? Belgium’s former King Albert struggles to cope with new ‘pay’ (independent.co.uk)