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Elephants run for beauty contest in southwest Nepal


ANI Asia
Nepalis on Monday took part in the 16th edition of Elephant Festival which aims to bring humans closer with elephants, encourage wildlife protection and conservation, and promote tourism in the region.
Five elephants participated in the competition that took place in Sauraha, a tourism hub in southwest Nepal's Chitwan district.
"We train them. We teach them all the things. It takes us around 6-7 months to prepare them for it and only after that they are allowed to participate in the competition," Jire Chaudhary, a mahout whose elephant took part in the show, told ANI.
A three-member jury evaluated the jumbos on the basis of cleanliness, including their body and nails, the style of walking, discipline, in words carrying out orders given by mahouts.
It is the duty of a mahout to prepare his elephant for the show which undergoes a long procedure and preparedness, Chaudhary said.
"We bring materials required to prepare the elephants, including the colours, mix them up and paint over the bodies of an elephant right on-spot," he added.
It takes at least an hour for mahouts to prepare an elephant for the show with paintings all over the body.
The elephant who wins the show gets a treat of delicious food such as sugarcane, banana, papaya and other varieties whereas the owner of the elephant is awarded a cash prize.
The annual elephant festival not only brings humans close to the mammal but also raises awareness regarding wildlife conservation. This year's event is organized in promotion of the Visit Nepal Year 2020 campaign.

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First Published: Dec 30 2019 | 5:47 PM IST

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