Not fit for a king!

The recent news of the King of Spain, Juan Carlos, having hunted an elephant in Botswana’s Okavango Delta region, is disturbing. 

It is disturbing, not only because he killed an elephant for fun but because of the criticism he has received back home has centered on him having gone on an expensive hunting safari when his country continues to face economic turmoil. 

What about the fact that hunting an elephant poses a serious ethical dilemma and that, when it involves people of such high stature, it sends totally the wrong message where the protection of wildlife is concerned? 

I must say, I am getting really tired of this argument that trophy hunting greatly benefits conservation and local communities.

It is simply not true.

If you unpack the economics of the hunting industry in southern Africa, you will learn, and very quickly at that, that there are very few who derive benefit from the existence of the industry--private landowners, yes; local communities, no; conservation, no (although it depends on your definition thereof--if your conservation world view is informed by the $, then perhaps)...

And then, what is it about having to kill an elephant, a lion, a hyena or even a porcupine (I kid you not) for fun?  I am not sure, largely because I have never understood the psychology involved, but what comes to mind are the principles enshrined in dominionism, utilitarianism, egoism and ignorance--questionable ethical reference points at best.

I have to wonder what went through the king’s mind when he first saw an elephant in the wild--could it really be that he was drawn to one day shoot it, or is it just a case of tradition that reigns supreme? 

This recent act, a crowning moment for Juan Carlos, I think not.


Take action now and join our say NO! to ivory campaign by clicking here.

Comments: 4

6 years ago

Thank you for posting this. Title, monetary worth, education, or status, can never conceal how utterly barbaric and selfish humans can be.

6 years ago

Wicked Wildlife Fund - in truth, they do not oppose hunting. In fact, it looks like they support the conservation that provides enough animals to hunt.

6 years ago

I live in Portugal and the king Juan Carlos was never seen with good eyes in matters of ethic values and principles. During all his life he has been doing major crap!!! It is a BIG shame what he did! No character at all!
At one site he plays nature friendly and was elected honorary chairman of WWF and on the back stage he goes and kills animals???!!! How ill must someone be?!!!
It is unbelievable and drives me crazy! There are so many intuitions Africans and Europeans putting all their efforts in rescuing wild animals. Last year I volunteered at Tsavo West in Kenya for elephants and against poachers!!! And than comes Juanito and “peng”?!
The problem of many humans is that the more power they have and the more $$$$ they see the more animal like they become! Sad but truth!
The more I know humans the more I like animals!
I´m sorry but I have no respect left for this man!
And yes Portugal and Spain are facing huge economic problems!

Michael Mandel
6 years ago

Wie wäre es wenn dieser "König" statt durch Krokodilstränen die er medienwirksam vergießt, durch eine großzügige Spende sein Unrecht zum Ausdruck bringt?

6 years ago

I am constantly wondering how these sub humans can so casually take the lives of these beautiful animals without so much as a bit of concern. I wonder how it is we share the same name as a species when it would never occur to me to even think of killing any creature.

Elephants are especially wonderful, they demonstrate the same emotions we have and care so very much for their young. To use a baby to kill his/her mother and kill right in front of the baby's eyes is so treacherous a deed as to warrant the same fate for those who commit these unspeakable acts.

Why aren't these men punished by law, severly, and for long periods of time?

There has to be a special place in hell reserved for these sub humans and I can only hope they land there as quickly as possible.

Post a comment


Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
Dr. Joseph Okori
Regional Director, Southern Africa and Program Director, Landscape Conservation
Faye Cuevas, Esq.
Senior Vice President
Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
Regional Director, Asia
James Isiche, Regional Director, East Africa
Regional Director, East Africa
Jason Bell, Vice President for Conservation and Animal Welfare
Vice President for Conservation and Animal Welfare
Matt Collis, Director, International Policy
Director, International Policy
Peter LaFontaine, Campaigns Manager, IFAW Washington, D.C.
Campaigns Manager, IFAW Washington, D.C.
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Senior Advisor to the CEO on Strategic Partnerships & Philanthropy