For sport, fun and charity: Elephant polo

The world elephant polo championship 2015 took place in Royal Chitwan National Park in Nepal.

Martin Zinggl, Silvia Cachafeiro | | Environment, Sport, Nepal, Asia

Royal Chitwan National Park, Nepal - Elephant polo originated in 1982, the bizarre idea of two British entrepreneurs, Jim Edwards and James Manclark.

Edwards had established Tiger Tops, a tourism venture which offered elephant safaris in 1961, and which has since become a family-run ecotourism lodge in Royal Chitwan National Park.

The idea of playing polo with elephants was born one day when his friend and polo enthusiast, Manclark came up with the idea. The game between friends has now turned into an annual tournament, taking place at Tiger Tops, which attracts polo enthusiasts and players from all over the world while offering a combination of sport, fun, and charity work. 

Today, elephant polo has been registered as an Olympic sport in Nepal and is internationally recognised as an official sport, which is also played in India, Sri Lanka and Thailand. The World Elephant Polo Association acts as an umbrella organisation for the championship in Nepal, where eight teams fiercely compete for five days in November.

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