As poaching hits all time record WWF head goes elephant hunting

As elephants herds across Africa get decimated for the ivory trade and conservation groups call for tougher action the honorary president of World Wildlife Fund Spain – King Juan Carlos I – has gone on an elephant hunt in Botswana.

His trip has caused fury across Spain mainly because of the cost at a time of extreme austerity but as head of the WWF locally his action are not setting a very good example for conservationists trying to save the elephant.

Uncontrolled killing of elephants across Africa.

Last year was deemed to be the worst year for elephant poaching since the ban in ivory trading came into effect over 20 years ago in 1989. This year hundreds of elephants have been slaughtered across central Africa to meet a growing trade in ivory and tusks.

While Botswana may have a well managed stock of elephants and an official hunt is unlikely to put at risk its elephant population the timing of this hunting holiday demonstrates a lack of awareness of the elephant situation by the King. This is a real concern as he’s supposed to be the national head of a global wildlife conservation organisation and should be setting an example.

Honorary president of WWF Spain goes elephant hunting.

The cost of the King Juan Carlos’ elephant hunting trip came to about USD24,500 while no news has been released about the number of elephants that the honorary president of the WWF Spain killed it known that he suffered a fractured hip after a falling off a step while on holiday.

The King went hunting in the Botswana Okavango region and had been out hunting for 4 days before the accident happened and had to be flown home in his private jet.

The Okavango region – it’s the World’s largest river delta – is becoming increasingly popular with tourists because of its rich diversity of life and many large mammals – a favourite for wildlife tourists. 

Botswana allows hunting to control herd numbers.

Botswana continues to allow hunting in the region as a way to manage and control elephant numbers.

While there may be a place for game hunting – including that of elephants – for control of herd size and to help boost incomes for local people you have to ask whether King Juan Carlos made a very good decision to go elephant hunting considering his position with WWF and the public concerns over the uncontrolled and runaway poaching and killing of elephants.


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  1. Plus, all hunters of endangered species (and of course ALL poachers) should be prosecuted, and ideally even jailed!!!

  2. WWF should tell about it’s roots in hunter before ask us for give money, on the true, the shame is bigger than the some good job. After this, maybe the end of it’s satanic org. The Nature will never to forget! DARE YOU!

  3. I don’t care if this specific hunting by the Spanish king affected the elephant population or not (however, I think it did, since every animal that dies a nonnatural death affects the population and the ecosystem, even more so if the animal is endangered and propagable). For me, this hunt (like every other legal hunt of an endangered animal) is simply legal poaching. The fact is this: rich white and (often) old guys come from every corner of the world, pile many dollars on the table and then believe they can play god and boast their egoes by relentlessly “hunting” highly endangered animals just for the “fun” of it, no matter the consequence for the animals themselves, the populations, the ecosystem…, without any risk or fight (because the animals are normally “canned”, i.e. fenced, I think this term is called canned hunting), so the animals never really have a chance… This is simply perverse, shameful, irresponsive and highly despicable! What makes the “hunt” of the Spanish King even more disputable (and this is mildly put!) is the fact that he calls on his compatriots to save money because of the European crisis, and all he does is paying some 25000 bucks (maybe even from taxpayers’ money!) just for the license to kill threatened species. The peak of shamefulness and hypocrisy is being reached by the fact that King Juan Carlos of Spain is head of the Spanish WWF. If the WWF is a real conservationist group (and there are claims that they are simply pseudo eco and much too close to industries such as palm oil companies), they have to sack the Spanish King from their organization. I don’t understand why countries allow any form of hunting threatened species! They could instead invite tourists to “photo safaris”, with the chance of making photos of endangered animals etc., but hunting such animals (no matter if legally or illegally) is an absolute no go!
    Honestly, I am rather glad that the hip fracture stopped King Juan Carlos from killing other helpless elephants (and I’m usually not happy for other people breaking their hips!) and other animals just for their tusks and trophies!!!

  4. Your article claims that the Botswana Government allows hunting to control numbers and this may be the excuse. The facts are this, there are quotas set each year for the number of Elephants to be shot in one particular area and these are set by the department of wildlife – these quotas have been increasing in recent years. The Hunting fraternity will claim that this benefits locals and keeps numbers down, however, this is not true. In one particular area i know about, the quota was 26 Elephants in one season (April to September and increased from 18 the previous year) and the estimated number of Elephants in the area is in the region of 20 – 30 Thousand and thus these numbers will have no effect on the Elephant population as a whole. What will happen is that the genetic variance of Large Tuskers (the trophy looked for by the Hunters) will decrease and these Elephants will be taken out of the local ecosystem and thus will the gene for the Large Tusk and this leads the hunters to go for animals with smaller Tusks year on year.
    The benefits for the ordinary locals are limited as the vast funds received from these Hunts ($24,500 seems cheap and $50,000 is easily the norm) will mainly go to the local trust that the government has given them to administer for the benfit of the local people. These Trusts often pay their board members (relatively) high salaries for very little work and thus the ordinary local rarely benefits as they will only get the job for one season (April to September) and will not be paid outside this season.
    The real benefactor is, of course, the architypal ‘Great White Hunter’, and yes they still exist.
    The Botswana government HAS banned hunting and it will stop when all the current Concession agreements have run out, which will be in the next 4 to 5 years and in this time many more Elephants will be killed for the fun of it.

  5. Sponsor a WWF Elephant so people can pay big bucks to go an shoot them, i think not. Get rid of the King.

  6. Here’s a message for the WWF – GO TO HELL.

    How dare you ask people for donations, particularly for elephants and then don’t take a stand against hunting them.

    Time to close your FAKE CHARITY.

  7. It is unbelievable! So many people are out for instant gratification and feel good fun, regardless of the impact it has any the earth, the animals, or other humans.

  8. WHAT!?!?! Is this legit? Isn’t WWF AGAINST poaching and animal hunting?????? I’m confused….

    • Hi Marissa

      The WWF is against poaching but not against hunting. If you look at the history of the organisation it has it’s roots in the game-hunting individuals and related society and they still raise a lot of money for the organisation.


      • The “hunting” of elephants can be considered poaching. Elephants are a threatened species and they can’t reproduce fast enough to keep up with idiots like these ^. While they may be hunting them to control the poplulation, the population can’t keep up! It’s poaching; which is why they wrote the article.

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