King Juan Carlos of Spain underwent a hip replacement surgery this morning after suffering a fall, while hunting elephants in Botswana.
At a time when his country is going through a severe economical crisis as well as experiencing the highest unemployment rates in history (especially among the young population), the king travels to African countries to engage in expensive and unethical activities that are costing him the trust of his people (and their Euros).
But it seems like the gun is turning against Don Juan Carlos this time. Along with his new hip, he’s also getting thousands of signatures from outraged citizens asking him to give up his Honorary Presidency of World Wildlife Fund Spain, title which he ironically holds. No, that wasn’t a typo.
Murdering animals for pleasure is not a new hobby to Don Juan Carlos. The 74-year old monarch has 50 years of experience (almost his entire adult life) hunting elephants, bears, wolves, leopards… you name it. According to The Guardian, he paid 7.000 Euros in 2004 to shoot a European bison —one of the world’s most endangered species (approximately 1.600 left)— during a trip to Poland.
And the rest of his hunting deeds could easily fill up a second or third memoir. I’d suggest “How to Rule the Wilderness in Two Easy Steps” as a title.
Step 1: Buy it.
Step 2: Kill it.
Rann Safaris, the king’s hunting ally in Botswana, has deactivated today both its website and the Facebook page, where several photographs of the king’s hunting adventure with the company had previously been posted.
But the shocking video of their bloody trails is still spreading around the internet, like a dark shadow of what man—with money, a gun and no compassion—can do to nature, animals and, ultimately, to himself.
I’m not optimistic about fighting these giants and winning. But at least we can let the world know that we’re trying. Share this and help spread the message. Information is, perhaps, our most mindful weapon.
As Elie Weisel put it,
“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings [and other creatures] endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”