Myanmar captures rare white elephant

2015-03-01 21:56
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Yangon - Myanmar's forestry department has captured a rare white elephant in the jungles of the country's western Ayeyarwaddy region, an official says.

The 7-year-old female was captured six weeks after it was initially spotted in a reserve in Pathein township, forestry official Tun Tun Oo said. It's the ninth white elephant in captivity in the country.

"We had to be careful," Tun Tun Oo said of the 1.9m tall elephant. "It's wild. We didn't want the elephant or the forestry department officials to get hurt."

White elephants, which are actually albinos, have been revered for centuries in Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and other Asian nations.

Often pinkish in color, with fair eyelashes and toenails, the animals were normally kept and pampered by monarchs as symbols of royal power and prosperity - and many people still believe they bring good luck to the country.

Myanmar already has eight white elephants in captivity, most from the Ayeyarwaddy region. Five are in the zoo in the capital, Naypyitaw and three are in Yangon's zoo.

Previous white elephants transported from Myanmar's jungles have been heralded in lavish ceremonies in which military leaders sprinkle them with scented water laced with gold, silver and precious gems.


Read more on:    myanmar

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