Anantara Hotels and Resorts have confirmed the dates for the 2018 King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament in Bangkok, Thailand. The event will be held by the banks of Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River from 8th to 11th March 2018. King’s Cup Elephant Polo is a four-day festival of events dedicated to raising awareness and supporting elephants – the national symbol of Thailand.
During the event, a total of 20 rescued street elephants will participate. Before doing so, they will each 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 that are not usually available to them during their normal daily lives.
Organizers are keen to stress that the welfare of the elephants taking part in the King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament is of paramount importance. A strict “no micro-chip, no game” rule is imposed on the proceedings, so that Anantara can guarantee that all elephants taking part have been domestically bred and not captured from the wild or smuggled in from neighbouring countries.
The annual event is a perfect family day out in the sunshine, hosting a full range of fun elephant festivities such as the opening parade, children’s educational day, and the Ladies Day known as ‘Bangkok Ascot’. Other entertainment scheduled for the event includes a pop-up foodie market, along with a host of popular bands and DJs.
The event raises money to help conservation efforts for Thailand’s population of both wild and domesticated elephants. Now in its sixteenth year, the festival has become one of the biggest charitable events in Southeast Asia, contributing more than US$1.5 million (50 million Baht) to charitable organisations.
King’s Cup Elephant Polo Festival was awarded a silver medal for Sports CSR Initiative of the Year at the Asia Sports Industry Awards in 2016.Â Anantara has long been associated with elephant conservation efforts of The Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation, which has performed over 60 rescues of elephants off the streets of Thailand.