The 2018 King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament
will take place on the banks of the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok,
from 8-11 March 2018.
Now in its sixteenth year, the festival
has become one of the biggest charitable events in Southeast Asia
with over US$1.5 million (BHT 50 million) raised and donated to
projects that better the lives of Thailand’s wild and domesticated
this year’s event were donated to
various projects including the Zoological Parks Organisation of
Thailand which supports veterinary and educational projects to
improve the year-round lives of elephants and mahouts in the Surin
Province where ex-street elephants face ongoing hardship.
donations have also funded South East Asia’s first ever workshop
to teach mahouts and vets the benefits of Environmental Enrichment
to keep elephants happy as well as the construction of a watch
tower in a village whose crops are raided by elephants, allowing
villagers to watch and warn other villagers of approaching
elephants in a safe manner for both people and elephants.
also funded a conservation education trip to a National Park for
the children and next generation of hereditary mahouts to learn
the importance of elephants in the wild; the transport of Thai
elephant vets to international conferences; funding Thai
Government aid to teach mahouts to act as veterinary assistants
and provide basic first aid and other medical care to their
elephants; as well as community based Human Elephant Conflict
mitigation projects in two Thai and one Tanzanian National Parks
and the purchase of equipment for anti-poaching rangers in a
Cambodian National Park.
Other significant benefits from the money raised
by the tournament include: the ongoing Thai Elephant Therapy
Project which has been underway since 2009 in conjunction with
Chiang Mai University’s Department of Occupational Therapy, with
future clinics to include children with Down’s Syndrome and other
conditions now committed until the end of 2018 as well as the
funding of Asia’s first workshop to show traditional elephant
trainers and camp owners the benefits of Positive Reinforcement
Training for captive elephants with additional workshops this year
in Myanmar reaching teams responsible for over 200 elephants.
projects include the donation of a THB 500,000 gantry to the Thai
Elephant Conservation Centre (TECC) to help lame elephants stand
which is still in operation; and the planting of an elephant
corridor of 4,000 trees in Hua Hin to stop farmer vs. elephant
Next year’s four-day event promises a full range
of elephant festivities for the whole family including an opening parade, children’s educational day and of
course, Ladies Day. Other entertainment will include a pop up
foodie market and a host of popular bands and DJs.
A total of 20 unemployed ex-street elephants
will take part in the event, during which they will receive full
veterinary checks from the Zoological Parks Organisation of
Thailand, under the patronage of His Majesty the King of Thailand
and the Department of Livestock Development. In addition, all
elephants are given essential vitamins, food and care which are
not available to them during their normal daily lives.
The welfare of the elephants that participate in
the King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament is of paramount
importance, with strict rules ensuring that the pachyderms are
well cared for at all times. By imposing a “no micro-chip, no
game” rule, Anantara guarantees that all participating elephants
have been domestically bred and not captured from the wild or
smuggled in from neighbouring countries.
The annual event was awarded a silver medal for
Sports CSR Initiative of the Year at the Asia Sports Industry
Awards in 2016. Anantara has long been associated with elephant
conservation efforts with the formation of The Golden Triangle
Asian Elephant Foundation, which has performed over 60 rescues of
elephants off the streets of Thailand.
Pictures from King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament 2018
Pictures and Video Interviews from King’s Cup Elephant Polo
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