King Of Spain Issues 'Unprecedented' Apology For Elephant-Hunting Trip
Eyder Peralta
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 at 12:38 PM
Font size: A | A | A | A |

Spain's King Juan Carlos prepares to leave a hospital in Madrid on Wednesday. Spain's King Juan Carlos says he is sorry for having gone on African elephant-hunting trip.
Spain's King Juan Carlos prepares to leave a hospital in Madrid on Wednesday. Spain's King Juan Carlos says he is sorry for having gone on African elephant-hunting trip.
Paco Campos | AP

The King took an extravagant trip to Bostwana while Spain suffers an economic crisis.

As he walked out of the hospital, the 74-year-old Spanish monarch gave what is being widely characterized as an unprecedented apology over an elephant hunting trip the king took to Bostwana.

After thanking the medical staff, King Juan Carlos issued a direct and short apology.

"I'm very sorry," he said. "I made a mistake. It won't happen again."

The King broke his hip during the hunting adventure but the big deal here is that he took such an extravagant trip while his country is in the middle of an economic crisis. (Remember, it wasn't long ago that we reported on the violent and massive protests against austerity reforms in the country.)

El País, one of Spain's biggest newspaper, reports that the King made the decision to apologize on Monday, after days of public outcry. The paper says the demands for an apology came from the political sphere, which had never before asked for an apology in such a direct manner.

The paper goes further:

"It's not common for the king to issue these kinds of apologies, but the situation demanded that he do so, because his behavior has never before been in such a spotlight."

The apology, the paper adds, is intended to quell the "greatest crisis faced by the crown since its restoration."

And besides the economic issues, the King also faced criticism from animal rights groups. It turns out the King was the honorary president of the Spanish branch of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The Telegraph reports:

"The Spanish branch of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) on Tuesday said it would seek to remove King Juan Carlos as its honorary president, a position he has held since 1968, in light of his recent hunting expedition to Botswana, one of the few places that issue licenses to cull elephant herd numbers.

"Pictures of the King posing in front of an elephant shot on a similar trip to Botswana in 2006 were published across the world as an online petition calling for the King to be removed as patron collected more than 80,000 signatures.

"Juan Carlos del Olmo, the secretary general of WWF España, said the king's position as patron had become untenable. 'It's a problem of the image it sends nationally and internationally rather than the issue of elephant conservation in Botswana.'"

That video above, by the way, was released by the crown. [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]



This article is filed in: World News, News

Also in World News  
EU Human Rights Court Could Be Last Stop For German Claiming CIA Kidnapping
Khaled El-Masri says he was mistakenly flown to a secret prison in Afghanistan by the CIA.

Civilians Flee, Soldiers Dig In On Sudanese Frontier
The U.N. is threatening both Sudans with sanctions if they can't reverse their escalating feud.

How To Address France's New, Unmarried First Lady
France's new president was inaugurated Tuesday, and he's moving into the presidential palace with his longtime "companion." Host Michel Martin and the Beauty Shop ladies weigh in on political protocol when it comes to heads of state, politicians and their unmarried significant others.

At Trial, Serb Gen. Mladic Taunts Survivors With Throat-Cutting Gesture
Charged with 11 counts of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, he remains defiant.

Atlanta Opens New International Terminal
Officials hope the facility means more international businesses will choose to locate in Georgia.

Comments  
Post a Comment