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Spanish king 'very sorry' for elephant-hunting vacation

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Spain's King Juan Carlos leaves his room at a hospital after being discharged in Madrid, April 18.

Spain’s King Juan Carlos apologized Wednesday after he was roundly condemned for allegedly going elephant-hunting in Botswana as his country struggles amid the economic downturn.

“I am very sorry. I’ve made a mistake and it will not happen again,” Juan Carlos said Wednesday morning after he left a hospital in Madrid, where he was treated for a broken hip he sustained during his safari. His remarks were reported by several news outlets, including the English-language website, typicallyspanish.com.


It was not entirely clear whether he was sorry for trying to kill elephants, doing so at a time of austerity for many Spaniards, or simply for getting injured.

United Left party leader Cayo Lara said the king was “clearly not losing any sleep over the fact that thousands of young people are unemployed, while he goes off to Africa to hunt elephants,” according to the English-language Olive Press website.

The U.K.’s BBC News reported that while it was widely reported the king had been hunting elephants, the royal family had not confirmed or denied this.

It said Spanish newspapers had published pictures of the king standing with a gun beside a dead elephant dating back to 2006.

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