November 30, 2006
Hong Kong team Chopard beat the British Gurkhas four to three during a tense match in the semifinals of this year's World Elephant Polo Tournament at Meghauli Forest in southern Nepal.
Eight teams from Britain, India, Scotland, Sri Lanka, and Nepal participated as the World Elephant Polo Association celebrated its silver jubilee.
Elephant polo is believed to have been first played about a century ago. The game is based loosely on the rules of horse polo, but the field is smaller, because of the slower speed of elephants.
Animal rights groups are opposed to elephant polo, because they believe that the animals are trained with harsh methods, including the use of steel hooks. The organizers of the sport counter that the elephants are well treated and "enjoy" the break from their regular routine. Most of the elephants that take part in polo matches are working animals.
More Photos in the News
Today's 15 Most Read Stories
Free Email Newsletter: Focus on Photography
Photograph by Gopal Chitrakar/Reuters