Saturday, February 17, 2007

Elephant polo: Not for the faint of heart

A Sri Lankan elephant polo game got a bit out of hand recently, as 18-year-old Abey, a veteran polo elephant, went off. He threw his Sri Lankan driver, along with the wealthy American tourist who was playing from on top of him, and went after a minibus.

Opinion seems somewhat divided over the merits of using elephants for polo as a general concept. Some feel it’s a good way to raise public awareness of elephants as domesticated, working animals. Others think it’s a good way to get killed.

Spanish polo player Inigo de Arteaga, who was present at the Sri Lankan game, summed it up pretty well when he said, “Doing any sport is always a risk. Let’s go surfing.”

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