Born Free USA Blog
by Will Travers,
Chief Executive Officer
What can you say about a big-hearted bloke who has rescued dolphins, tigers, elephants and more and whose parents once helped a lion cub from a department store by caring for him in their backyard and engineering his rightful return to Africa? You can safely say that he's got great animal instincts! In 1984, Will Travers joined his parents — "Born Free" film stars Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers — to form what became The Born Free Foundation. With knowledge, passion and compassion dripping from his every word, Will's blogs are sure to make you embrace our crusade to Keep Wildlife in the Wild ®.
So, Spain is in dire straights. Massive debts and nearly one in four unemployed. A new government may be about to take charge, but who knows. People are hurting!
And so, apparently is Juan Carlos, the King of Spain — but not for any of the above reasons.
While his fellow countrymen are wondering how to make ends meet, the king was adventuring in Bostwana hunting elephants (without his moral compass).
What? Yes, the picture of the king standing in front of a magnificent bull elephant, slumped dead against a tree, has shocked millions of people for a variety of reasons.
Shouldn’t the king be setting an example and working to help lift his fellow citizens out of the mess they are in?
Shouldn’t the king be setting an example and, as elephants face annihilation across much of Africa, join efforts to protect a species under threat (poaching and the illegal ivory trade are rampant across many parts of the continent? (See www.bloodyivory.org for details.)
Newspaper and media reports in Spain are highly critical of the king's lifestyle and his pursuit of threatened species. In an attempt to justify his "sport," it has been claimed that trophy hunting of elephants in Botswana (which is legal) is a method of controlling elephant numbers. Poppycock! It is nothing of the sort. It simply terminates a number of the most magnificent (and possibly the most genetically significant) bulls while doing nothing whatsoever to control numbers (if numbers need to be controlled in the first place).
Apparently, the king suffered an accident while on his sojourn of slaughter — requiring hip replacement surgery. Maybe his time convalescing will give him the opportunity to reflect on just how badly his actions are viewed both at home and internationally. His hip may heal but the elephant is dead, gone forever.
A modern monarch should be in touch with the people. Juan Carlos seems to be all at sea.
Blogging of (in disgust),