World’s Most Awesomely Odd Animal Competitions
The World Cup, for peanuts? (Photo: Lou/Flickr)
Give an elephant a soccer ball, and you could discover the David Beckham of the pachyderm world. Train a cricket to fight, and you could produce a chirping, six-legged version of Mike Tyson.
Wait, what? Isn’t that how the old chesnuts go?
For a certain type of obsessed animal lover, crazy animal competitions are catnip to travel, to book a ticket and experience the wackiest, weirdest and flat-out fun furry frolics across the globe. While they don’t get the same sort of press as the World Cup or Olympics — or even the Westminster Dog Show — these events court cheering fans, colorful coaches, and yes, a little controversy.
Some animals have incredible skills, the kind that might otherwise net multimillion-dollar contracts if they were human. We’ve rounded up some of most unique animal competitions that made us laugh, raise an eyebrow, book a plane ticket, and ask the rhetorical question, “Seriously?”
Elephant Soccer — Chitwan, Nepal
A trippy dream turns reality come late December in Nepal: elephants playing soccer. It happens at the Chitwan Elephant Festival. Mahouts (elephant handlers) steer pachyderms specifically trained for the event up and down the soccer field, and the elephants use their trunks to navigate the ball. When goals are scored, spectators go wild. And when we say spectators, we mean humans and elephants.
Hang ten, doggy! (Photo: Nathan Rupert/Flickr)
Dog Surfing — Imperial Beach, California
Watch fearless pooches ride the waves during the Unleashed by PetCo Surf Dog Competition in San Diego County. Sporting adorable life vests and incredible balance, competing dogs can hang ten better than most humans. Scoring is based upon length of ride, size of wave and the dog’s ability to stay on the surfboard. Now in its ninth year, the competition takes place July 13.
May the best cricket win (Photo: Shannon Shue/Flickr)