The Spanish branch of the World Wildlife Fund has begun the process of removing King Juan Carlos as its 'honorary president'.
In an extraordinary meeting held this Tuesday, the Governing Board of WWF Spain, , "unanimously agreed to initiate the process for amend Article 6 of its statutes, which relates to honorable figures within the organisation".
This statement from the environmental organisation, of which King Juan Carlos is founder and honorary president, comes just two days after they sent a letter to the head of the King's household, requesting a meeting with the monarch, and to convey the general general unrest caused amongst its members by the news that the King has been hunting elephants in Botswana.
Thousands of people have demanded that the WWF ask the King to step down as honorary president of the entity. This process would, however, require a general assembly of members to approve a change to Article 6 of the group's constitution, which states that "the founder and honorary president is Don Juan Carlos I".
In the letter, the secretary general of WWF Adena in Spain, Juan Carlos del Olmo, expressed his "deep discomfort and concern" about the "unfortunate event" and the impact it has had in Spain and around the world, and the "widescale rejection" amongst members of the environmental organisation and the public at large to the idea of hunting elephants.
Meanwhile, about 20 animal rights activists gathered outside the San José hospital in Madrid yesterday (picture), where the King is recovering after hip surgery. Police had to cordon off the entrance to the hospital to prevent protestors from entering the building, but their posters and protest still made national and international news.