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New Zealand Rugby Team Plays Elephant Polo in Thailand

6 years ago277 views

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A New Zealand rugby team takes part in the 2012 King's Cup Elephant Polo in the Thailand resort town of Hua-Hin. Pachiderm polo is meant to be enjoyed by all participants, including the elephants.

A rugby team from New Zealand has taken part in the 2012 King's Cup Elephant Polo in the Thai resort town of Hua-Hin, 300 kilometres south of Bangkok on Tuesday.

As their colleagues at home prepare for the Rugby World Cup, this team prepared for their pachiderm polo debut after a traditional Haka- the Maori dance.

For a beginner, it is quite hard for the player to control an elephant, as on first-time elephant polo player discovered.

[Charles Riechelmann, New Zealand All Blacks Player]:
"It's very interesting. I liked it. It's fun but it's very interesting. It's hard to control the elephants to do what we want to do. I think that's the hard part."

And sometimes elephants can go unexpectedly naughty and don't want to play.

[Chitra Mepburn, Captain of the Spice Girl Team]:
"The game was good except for elephants issue. My elephant sat down in the middle of the game, so we have to change. My other friend's elephant decided to attack another elephant, so we have to change again. This is what fun about elephant polo, not like horse polo."

According to the rules, if the elephant doesn't enjoy playing, they have to change as they want the elephant to be enjoying itself, too.

The rules in elephant polo are similar to the game played on horses, with only a few differences.

Three elephants are allowed on to the 100 by 60 meters ground with two people on each elephant - a player and a mahout, an elephant driver.

The elephants are not allowed to lie in front of the goal posts or use their trunks to catch the ball. If they do either, they commit fouls, earning the opposing team the free hit...