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Spain: King Juan Carlos and the Elephant in Botswana

Days after Felipe Juan Froilan accidentally shot himself in the foot during shooting practice, his grandfather, King Juan Carlos I of Spain, fell while he was hunting and broke his pelvis. This would have been minor news, had it not been for the fact that he was hunting elephants in Botswana on the kind of safari that can cost up to $60,000 USD [es]. That the King of Spain would pay thousands to kill animals (while his country is suffering from recession, no less) has been deeply troubling for many, and this was clear on the blogosphere. Carlos Canicero sarcastically mused: “What's going on with the Bourbons and shotguns? Can't they live without shooting?” Lola Pardo of El País pointed out that Rann Safaris, the agency through which Juan Carlos booked his hunt, had shut down its website [es], shortly after a photo disseminated through the internet, showing the King posing before an elephant carcass.

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