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Hefty elephants play lumbering polo

Thursday, Aug 29, 2013 - 01:10

Aug. 29 - More than fifty elephants and a team of Thailand's famous ''lady boys'' take part in elephant polo in a seaside town in Thailand. Tara Cleary reports.

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Fanfare … And a blessing. Before the annual elephant polo tournament gets underway in Thailand. Fifty animals and a team of transgender so-called "lady boys" took part in the fundraising event. Organizer Tim Boda calls it an elephant vacation. SOUNDBITE: Tim Boda, organizer of elephant polo, saying (English): "They're street elephants or working elephants. They're in camps normally. They come here and basically they have a week's holiday in Hua-Hin. They're coming here, they're getting a check-up - we make sure they're really healthy." Each team may have up to four elephants, with two people riding each one - a player and a "mahout" or elephant trainer. And even though goals are scored, it isn't easy. SOUNDBITE: Wirithorn Niriphanpimol, captain of the 'Miss Tiffany' team, saying (Thai): "When I wanted to hit the ball, I couldn't swing. The stick is heavy, the ball didn't go that far." The elephants are treated to a fruit banquet off the field, but they have to follow rules on the field. They're not allowed to lie in front of the goal posts or use their trunks to catch the ball. But it seems kicking is permitted.

Hefty elephants play lumbering polo

Thursday, Aug 29, 2013 - 01:10

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