Elephant polo tournament is a world importance event that takes place in a different country every year.
In Nepal we note by chance a little notice roadside while we were coming back to Kathmandu after the disappointing search for the tiger at Bardia Nature Park.
Of course we don’t understand immediately the importance of what we are reading…I defy anyone to be able to understand it by a such notice.
The sun has just risen and this group of women near there excites our curiosity: well-dressed, a bit out of place in the middle of the country and with this symbol around their neck.
Elephant polo tournament
We stop, chat, ask for clarification and we are informed that near there is taking place the elephant polo tournament world finale.
We are left gaping! If this is not luck…obviously we always say thank you to Valeria. She is very lucky and she has been telling us for two days that we haven’t seen even an elephant at Bardia Park! Just ask with her!
We park, enter the path and…here she is satisfied!
La world finale
When we arrive at the game field we are left gaping.
The animals are preparing themselves for the elephant polo tournament world finale, the teams are from all over the world. From each country in which the elephants live and from every country where polo is played: The United kingdom, Australia, New Zeeland, The United States, Canada,…
Players from all over the world
It’s incredible to see all this in a so deserted road and it’s impossible to understand only passing here.
Soldiers are also here, of course, as Nepal is the most military country in the world: they say hello to us friendly and try to speak English with foreigners a bit. I am very happy to talk to them if they could turn the sub-machine-gun the other way!
In short…I speak English better!
The match is going to start.
Rules of the game
The referee is on foot and it’s really striking to see these pachyderms move run after a so little ball.
We were explained by a player from Sri Lanka near us that the elephant has an infinite sensitivity under its foot, contrary to what we think, and it never crushes the little ball.
By the loudspeakers is given a live commentary on the match: will it be broadcast live streaming and on radio, too? Who knows!
Our Singhalese friend tries to tell us the rules of the elephant polo tournament. To be honest we don’t listen to him too much: seeing so many and so near elephants bewitch us!
He explains to us that elephants cannot be moved, of course, so the rotation of the home country takes place where the presence of elephants can be ensured year after year. The commission tends to exclude countries where elephants are treated badly.
He shows us around. The owner guide the elephant: he knows it very well. Our interlocutor laughs when he tell us that English people couldn’t guide the elephant by themselves during the match.
The doll sound of the mallet against the little ball follows our chat.
The mallets are lined up outside the field and each player choose the one fit for him as weight and length before the beginning of the match.
The time game is really short, a quarter of an hour I think, and our interlocutor explains us that animals need to rest. If he says so…
The animals leave the field and go to the appointed place for refreshment and the elephant polo tournament players go down from the elephants. Looking at them…we can’t say our friend is wrong when he teased the Westerners about the fact we couldn’t guide the elephants!
Now we can get closer to the elephants, too. They are really beautiful.
Who will be the first person get invited near the elephant over the enclosure? Guess who!!!
She embraces it and I…I think this video shows all my boundless love for animals and for the nearness to them above all!
How scandalous! I know. But I never think about embrace an elephant!!!
Family photo during a break of the elephant polo tournament. Let’s go! We have to move on because the match restarts.
Valeria! The seven months puppy elephant calf is very beautiful but we can’t stay here all day. Don’t you want take the risk to move in the night around here by jeep, do you?
The elephants have finished eating and the match restarts.
Some funny manoeuvres to climb the elephant, supporters on the stands, live commentary, the soldiers are positioned,…
These animals are really beautiful and seeing them so near and all together was really a fortune.
Now that the post is almost finished I can tell you that…I don’t understand anything about polo and it’s the first time that I watch playing it. But past the initial excitement due to animals not to the match itself…
…this sport is inevitably really very slow. It can’t be defined captivating and enthralling.
The player gives the instruction to the man. Then he gives it to the elephant which starts move run after the ball.
The mallet finds it difficult to hit the ball due to its own length and I start to understand why the game times are so limited…
Yeah, there is some interesting action but it’s all really slow. Okay! After this thing I hope my readers are not lovers of polo! Whether they are lovers of the elephant polo tournaments I can only hope on mathematical probabilities!
Who does win?
Anyway, let’s get back to the elephant polo tournament. Do you want to know who has won the match and the world championship title??
Okay! I must admit! I don’t know. We didn’t manage to see it completely. Too awful!
But…after have watched the video above, can you say I am wrong?
I don’t know how many people arrived to the end and the video last only few minutes!