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Archive for Sunday, February 12, 2006

Elephants run races in fundraiser for upkeep

February 12, 2006

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— Dozens of captive elephants raised funds for their upkeep Saturday by running races, playing tug-of-war and dancing to the rhythm of traditional drums.

Elephant trainers maneuvered the animals through a game of polo amid cheers from the crowd, most of whom were children.

The animals also took part in a 100-meter sprint and a hard-fought tug-of-war - with an elephant at one end of the rope and 150 men at the other. It was ruled a draw.

The event drew more than 1,000 people and raised roughly $2,000 for the Tamed Elephants' Owners Assn.

Organizer Sunil Rambukpotha said it cost more than $15 per day to care for an elephant. The animals are kept as status symbols and used in Buddhist ceremonies. An adult elephant can cost as much as $30,000.

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