While The Spanish Suffer Under Austerity, Their King Spends $60,000 Shooting Elephants

Spain King Juan Carlos

Photo: Getty / Carlos Alvarez

Spain is in a bad way at the moment, with citizens hurting under austerity, huge youth unemployment and falling house prices.It’s alright for some, however. King Juan Carlos has recently been spending a fortune shooting elephants in Botswana.

The AP reports that a fall at the weekend brought the trips to the attention of Spain’s press. The 72-year-old King is now recovering in hospital after having a hip replacement, but multiple publications have published pictures of the King and his family standing over dead elephants and buffaloes.

The trip has angered animal lovers, and a petition with 40,000 signatures has asked the King to step down from his position as President of the Spanish branch of the World Wildlife Fund, AFP reports.

There’s another big problem — the cost.

At the safari company used by the King a week cost upwards of $8,700, with a chance to shoot an elephant costing upwards of $15,000. The total cost of the trip is thought to be around $57,850 — twice the annual salary of the average Spaniard.

The family has a bad history with hunting too. Just days ago Froilán Marichalar shot himself in the foot while hunting, and in king shot and killed his brother in an accident when he was a teenager, the Guardian reports.

Given that the King’s son-in-law has been involved in a big corruption scandal, the Spanish elite are starting to look a little out of touch.

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