Pachyderms on the pitch

lifestyle February 28, 2018 13:54

By The Nation

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The King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament is coming back to the City of Angels with the hardy pachyderms taking to the grounds of Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort from March 8 to 11 for the matches.

In addition to cheering on the teams, visitors can enjoy a full range of fun activities and music performances with a pop-up foodie market. 

This is the 16th edition of the tournament, which has become one of the biggest charity events in Southeast Asia to raise funds for Thailand’s wild and domesticated elephant population. This year, the event will be donated to various projects including the Zoological Parks Organisation of Thailand, which supports veterinary and educational projects to improve the year-round lives of elephants and mahouts in Surin Province. 

The project has also organised Southeast Asia’s first ever workshop to teach mahouts and vets the benefits of Environmental Enrichment to keep elephants happy as well as the construction of a watch tower in a village whose crops are raided by elephants, allowing villagers to watch and warn other villagers of approaching pachyderms in a safe manner for both man and beast. 

The tournament features an impressive opening parade, children’s educational day, a Ladies Day known as the Bangkok Ascot, great foot, hot bands and spins from top DJs.

This year, a group of 20 unemployed ex-street elephants will take part in the event, which they will receive full veterinary checks from the Zoological Parks Organisation of Thailand, under the patronage of His Majesty the King of Thailand and the Department of Livestock Development. In addition, all elephants are given essential vitamins, food and care, which are not available to them during their normal daily lives.

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