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Wed, 13 January 2016

Kings Cup Elephant Polo Tournament 2016 to Take Place in Bangkok 10-13 March

Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas has confirmed that The Kings Cup Elephant Polo Tournament 2016 will be held by the banks of Bangkoks Chaophraya River from 10 to 13 March.

Now in its fourteenth year, the tournament has become one of the biggest charitable events in Thailand.

Almost US$1 million has been raised and donated to projects that better the lives of Thailands wild and domesticated elephant population, including continued support for research and clinics using elephants in therapy sessions for children living with autism; donating a gantry to help lame elephants stand and a purpose built elephant ambulance to the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre (TECC), and donating an All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) to the Government Elephant Hospital in Krabi.

Other projects include funding farmer/elephant conflict mitigation projects in three Thai and one Tanzanian National Park; planting 4,000 trees to form an elephant proof fence in Thailand; fully funding the protection of 18,000 hectares of standing forest in Cambodias Cardamom Mountains; funding the roll out of childrens educational programmes with the Thai Ministry to teach them the importance of conservation and protection of wild elephants in Thailand and funding the worlds first Target Training Positive Reinforcement Workshops teaching mahouts and trainers throughout Southeast Asia elephant friendly training methods.

This years event will have 10 teams encompassing over 40 players, including Thai celebrities, professional horse polo players, New Zealand All Blacks rugby players and Thailands famous transgender cabaret team Miss Tiffany.

A total of 18 elephants will be given a break from their work in tourist trekking camps in Pattaya or bought from unemployment in Surin to take part in the festival, during which they are given much needed food, essential vitamin supplements, full veterinary checks and care for the duration of the event.

Domestic elephants are micro-chipped by the Thai government to show that they have not been caught from the wild. The worst trekking camps can be tough for an elephant. In order to make money, mahouts are forced to work their elephants 10 12 hours a day. Conversely, at home in Surin, unemployment means elephants are often left isolated from other elephants with a short chain on two legs 24 hours a day with no exercise or enrichment. In both circumstances, the poverty of existence means their owners cannot afford to feed them anything close to their daily physical needs, emotional needs are forgotten, and shade and sufficient water are often overlooked. The Kings Cup schedule is designed to give these trekking elephants rest and relaxation on a scale they are never afforded in their normal lives and ensure elephant rest time with interaction and enrichment that neither set of elephants gets in their daily lives.

The four day festival will have something for everyone including an Opening Parade, Childrens Educational Day, Ladies Day and a wide range of elephant related activities for the whole family.

Anantara has long been associated with elephant conservation efforts with the formation of The Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation, which has performed over 40 rescues of elephants off the streets of Thailand, as well as bringing the Elephant Parade to Bangkok where 88 elephant statues were decorated by local and international celebrities and artists to honour Thailands HM King Bhumibol Adulyadejs 88th birthday and will be auctioned off in a gala dinner in February 2016.

See: Pictures from 2016 King's Cup Elephant Polo in Bangkok, Thailand.

See other recent news regarding: Elephant, Polo, Bangkok, Anantara, MHG, Minor Hotel Group, Thailand, Elephants

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