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Bangkok Elephants tromped across a manicured pitch in Bangkok on Thursday in the kick-off of a polo tournament raising money for the animals, who are celebrated as a national symbol but often subject to abuse.
Dozens of elephants were trucked down to the Thai capital for the four-day King's Cup Elephant Polo Tournament, an annual charity event that brings players from around the world to a field on the banks of the Chaophraya river.
During lumbering matches that resemble a slow-motion version of horse polo, handlers -- known as"mahouts" -- steer the animals while players wielding extra-long mallets take aim at a small white ball rolling underfoot. (AFP)

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