Pachyderm Pageant Closes Out Nepal Elephant Festival

Posted December 28th, 2011 at 11:30 am (UTC-5)
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The world has a new reigning beauty queen.

Event organizers in Nepal declared 12-year-old “Beauty Kali” the winner of the beauty pageant at the eighth annual International Elephant Festival.

“Beauty Kali” was the first runner up in last year's competition. But her handlers spent hours drawing intricate designs on “Beauty Kali” and even painted her nails a bright red, helping drive her to victory.

The pachyderm pageant wraps up a three-day festival meant to attract tourists and get attention for conservation efforts in Chitwan, in southern Nepal.

The festival also featured some nifty footwork by soccer-playing elephants and elephant races.

The Associated Press reports about 10,000 people in the Chitwan area depend on elephant-based tourism for the livelihoods. Only about 600,000 tourists visited Nepal this year, far short of the goal of one million set by the government.


((from December 28:

from December 28:


1. (Nepalese) Basudev Mahato, Mahout: (non-verbatim translation):

“When we trained the elephants we taught them the command 'kick, kick' and now they can play football.”

from December 26:


1. (Nepalese) Ghanashayam Sheartha, Race Organizer:

“Every year we organize this race to promote domestic and international tourism, hoping to attract more tourists to Nepal.”