How not to conserve wildlife

Not The Onion: Spain king ousted as honorary president of World Wildlife Fund branch after elephant hunt. [Wapo]


      1. Given that he apparently pulls 270,000 euros a year, for doing whatever it is that contemporary kings do, I’m guessing he’ll be ok…

  1. But doesn’t that weed out the ones that can’t out-run a bullet? It strengthens the herd, right? Isn’t that how it works?

    1. It takes great bravery to shoot an elephant from an armored SUV at 100 yards, plus tremendous tracking skills to find such elusive and hard to spot beasts.  I bet the ones he hunted were even chained to a stake with a barely adequate chain.

  2. What I dont understand it´s why he was  honorary president of World Wildlife Fund to begin with. He loves to shoot animals in the face. He was a hunter already in his teens.
    ¡He has a terrible record of hunting endangered species and drunken bears in Romania, Russia and other eastern European countries!
    Christ!  He is an asshole!

    1. In the modern world, now that spanish kings cannot plunder, subjugate and eradicate advanced civilizations that lack firearm technology, the last little pleasure left that satisfies the sweet tooth is shooting animals into extinction.  I guess.

    2. The World Wildlife Fund as a long tradition of being run by royal and corporate scumbags. I suspect its true ideology is eugenic. Here’s a quote from another honorary WWF president, Prince Philip: “In the event that I am reincarnated I would like to return as a deadly virus, in order to contribute something to overpopulation.”

      1. May Prince Philip return as a lactobacillus, have him do the lion’s share of grunt work to keep my colon functioning spiffily.

      2. In his defense wiping out the human race would be one of the most effective ways to save wildlife (we’re a parasite); and we are grossly over-populated.

        Crass thing to say?  Totally.  But you can’t knock his conviction.

  3. This fool of a king has been honorary president of Spain’s branch since 1968, @boingboing-de26c8e50deca7dbd638148d8799ce74:disqus says Juan Carlos and his family have a history of being callous, incompetent and obstinate with guns, a bit of Googling confirms this, he accidentally shot his own brother once, for example, and still he fucking hunts.  His grandson recently shot himself with a shotgun.

    The ultra-rich get a lot of leeway even from international organizations like the World Wildlife Fund, it seems.

    However, the other aspect to the story is Botswana’s elephant hunting “tourism industry”. What incentives (as opposed to sanctions) are in place to eradicate such practices in countries scraping an economic existence?

    1. As European monarchies go, they’re pretty unpopular with their own people. They’re not very likeable. Queen Sophia, in particular, could handily win the title of Grumpiest Woman in Europe.

          1. Ooh, zing!  And totally true as well.

            Anyway, I can’t pass up an opportunity to post one of my favorite early-nineties bands here on Boing Boing.
            Galaxie 500 – “King Of Spain”.

      1.  Juan Carlos, unpopular?  In Spain? Hmmm…. this hunting thing aside (yeah, I’m squarely on the WTF with that), the monarch is pretty much A-OK in most Spaniards eyes.

        Juan Carlos was groomed to be a real king and was handed the country to rule as its next fascist dictator, a la Bashar Assad. But instead of maintaining the status quo, hey calmly (but unequivocally) gave it up and facilitated the transition to liberal democracy.

        Get’s pretty high points for that in my book (and among a majority of Spaniards).

    2. While I disrespect them all for killing animals just for the fun of killing, at least when GHWBush went hunting doves and (ahem) quail, and when Dick Cheney went hunting quail and politicians, they weren’t hunting endangered species.  (Though on one hunting trip with Ann Richards, GHWB did hit a federally protected bird by mistake.  But it’s one thing to misidentify a dove-sized bird, and quite another to claim that you went on an elephant-hunting trip by “mistake”.)

      1. An additional catch, however.  “Hunting” for Bush and Cheney consisted of a fully catered killfest, they released flocks of caged birds in front of their line of sight and all they had to do was shoot at will, straight ahead.  A disgusting practice and if that’s hunting, then I’m… I’m… the king of Spain!

      2. In his defense, he had six different guides, and they separately led him to believe he was actually hunting a wall, a snake, a spear, a tree, a fan and a rope.

      3. in many countries, elephant are not endangered. In fact, countries like Botswana and South Africa do such a good job conserving them, that they need to cull them, as the land cannot support them.

    3. If a poor country does a good job of conserving wildlife and finds it has spare, why not take money from rich hunters ?

  4. You’ve got it all back-asswards. If you want to hunt elephants, you can’t have poachers kill ’em all off, right? You’ll have to preserve them. The WWF was the idea of Prince Bernhard von Lippe-Biesterveld of the Netherlands, himself an elephant hunter. The Bilderberg group was also his idea.

  5. On a related aside, the only African countries in which elephant populations are not being decimated by poachers are ones that allow controlled elephant hunting. It sucks that we humans cannot seem to protect anything until it is a valuable economic commodity, but until we can come up with a better, practically functioning solution, less beautiful creatures needlessly dying >> more beautiful creatures needlessly dying, in my book.

    Still, big game hunters are, at best, a necessary very-evil, not people to head conservation efforts.

    1. I’ve always thought the job of the poacher-catchers looked awesome.  Spend the day hunting hunters; it’s essentially the same past-time, but for the good guys.

      My suggestion has always been to reinforce this.  Why not turn hunting poachers into a real sport?  We could start by circulating rumors that the penis’ of men that hunt elephants are an aphrodisiac, but only if removed and dried.  

      Let the conservation begin!

  6. I have no particular opinion about Juan Carlos himself, but it’s not immediately obvious to me that the values of hunting and wildlife conservation are at odds.  There are many examples of recreational hunters and fishers working in league with ecologists to preserve habitat — take, for instance, Ducks Unlimited or (more broadly) your local Department of Natural Resources.  And, habitat preservation is where it’s at — if there’s nowhere for the elephants to live, there’s not much point in /not/ shooting them.

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