02 June 2014

King Juan Carlos Abdicates...and hunts Elephants

King Juan Carlos with a beautiful, majestic African elephant he murdered.
Normally I'd be a bit sad about a king abdicating, and I'd be worried about his health, but in the case of King Juan Carlos of Spain, I really don't give a care; in fact, I am VERY happy he's abdicating.

As quoted from BBC News:  

"Support for the king fell further when it was discovered he had been on a lavish elephant hunting trip to Botswana in April 2012, in the middle of Spain's financial crisis.

"Until a few years ago his popularity was high, but the hunting trip and corruption allegations involving his youngest daughter, Cristina, and her husband Inaki Urdangarin, led to calls for him to step aside."

It is not okay to hunt endangered animals. Obviously, the fact that the king is rich and famous makes him think that he can do whatever he likes, regardless of the consequences.

Here are some cold hard facts from elephant conservation group, Big Life Foundation:

"Since 2008, the poaching of animals, most of all elephants, has dramatically escalated across much of Africa. There has been a massively increased demand from China and the Far East again, ivory prices have soared from $200 a pound in 2004 to more than $2000 a pound today. Some experts estimate that as much as 35,000 elephants a year are being slaughtered, 10% of Africa's elephant population each year alone.

"Some of the methods being used are frighteningly simple - from concealed poisoned spikes that pierce the elephants’ feet, to poisoned melons and pineapples, all of which kill the elephants in unimaginable pain.

"But the killing is not limited to elephants. Lions are being killed at an incredible rate too. There are just an estimated 20,000 lions left in Africa today. That’s a staggering 75% drop in 20 years. Most of this is due to conflict with the fast growing population. But increasingly, it is for body parts, again for the Asian market, now that tigers are too hard to procure. It has become so bad that there are next to no lions left outside the parks and reserves.

"The plains animals are getting slaughtered as well: Giraffes here in the region are being killed at a faster rate for bush meat. There are even contracts out on zebras, as their skins are the latest fad in Asia."

I will spare you all the pictures of elephants I would like to post on here, of them laying dead, with their tusks cute out of their faces (you can view these kinds of pics on Big Life's website). Elephants do not shed their tusks, they are killed just for their tusks. And you know what the one driving force behind elephants being killed is? It's for the Chinese, who consider ivory as a status symbol, and this makes ivory incredibly valuable and sought after in China. There are also the sad and ironic ivory elephant figurines; why one would kill an elephant for its tusks, only to carve a mini elephant out of them is beyond me.

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