Politicians the world over often strive to strike a pose but draping a pair of bloodied deer’s testicles on the head while making a double victory V sign, probably isn’t the best way to garner public support as Carlos Delgado, tourism minister for the Baleares, has just learnt to his peril.
Highly embarrassing images were leaked to Ultima Hora, one of Majorca’s most popular daily newspapers, showing the tourism minister enjoying the spoils of a hunting trip taken back in 2011. In one shot he appears with the hacked testicles and daubed with blood while in another he holds a rifle and sits astride a dead deer.
In the UK, Glyn Davies, a farmer and MP for Montgomeryshire, was recently given a drubbing by the animal rights lobby on twitter for fantasising about shooting a deer that appeared in his garden. Carlos Delgado seems to have fared worse with Ultima Hora’s images going viral and appearing on various social networking sites as well as being scooped up by international media. Aside from animal rights groups, many Spaniards were quick to condemn the politician’s inappropriate behaviour, regarding it as a severe embarrassment to the country. There have been calls for him to be sacked from his post as tourism minister but so far he has survived the brouhaha.
In the wake of King Juan Carlos’s elephant hunting trip to Botswana-for which he was ousted as Honorary President of the Spanish branch of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)- the Spanish, especially those in the tourism sector, are sensitive about how their country is perceived overseas on the issue of blood sports. Carlos Delgado’s tasteless holiday snaps will do little to improve Spain’s track record when it comes to bullfighting and animal conservation although hunting of non-endangered species is still hugely popular. Here in the Baleares it is the start of the controversial tord hunting season when locals take to the Tramuntana hills to bag as many visiting thrushes as they can before the season wanes.
Most probably it isn’t the fact that Carlos Delgado went hunting that got people’s goat, rather more that instead of wearing his heart on his sleeve, he chose to wear some other creature’s cojones on his own head.
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