King Juan Carlos of Spain has been removed as honorary president of a leading conservation group after the row over his elephant hunting trip to Botswana earlier this year.
The Spanish branch of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) says it stripped the King of his position because his participation in the hunting safari was incompatible with the group’s goal of conserving endangered species.
Although the King had long been known to be a hunter, he normally kept a low profile during such trips. But his visit to Botswana came to light because he broke his hip and had to be evacuated to Spain for emergency replacement surgery.
Shortly afterwards, newspapers published a publicity photograph for a safari company in which the King was seen, posing with a rifle in front of a dead elphant. The picture fanned criticism for his leading such an ostentatious lifestyle at a time when one in four Spaniards are out of work.