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Elephant Polo

Five-hundred feet above sea level, in the jungles of the Himalayas in Nepal is the home of one of the world's most unique and challenging sporting events - the World Elephant Polo Championship.

You've probably heard of polo before - it's a game played by old dudes who ride horses while trying to whack a ball through another team's goal using sticks. Prince Charles and other rich people play it all the time. Elephant polo is pretty similar except players ride elephants instead of horses.

Each team has four elephants, each with two riders, who play on a field that is 120 meters (131 yards) long and 70 meters (76 yards) wide. One player directs the elephant while the other player tries to hit the ball into the other team's goal without falling off the elephants. The big grey beasts play a big part in the game but they can't do everything. They're not allowed to pick the ball up with their trunks - although this does happen quite a bit. The elephants also aren't supposed to lay down on the goal line to stop the ball but this also happens quite often during a game because elephants like to cheat.

The annual World Elephant Polo Championship attracts teams from around the world including Britain, the United States, Iceland and South Africa. The 2000 title was won by the Tiger Tops Tuskers from Iceland who defeated the Swissair Jumbos from Switzerland. The 2001 Championship will be played in December.

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The Best Thing About Elephants? Vote!

  • They have a big trunk.
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