CHITWAN, NEPAL // Elephants have raced, played football and shown their beauty at a festival to raise conservation awareness and lure tourists to Nepal.
Teams of four elephants played football using a standard-size ball as thousands of locals and foreign tourists cheered on the sidelines. Twenty elephants raced on 300 metre track, and trainers of some animals painted white patterns on the elephant's bodies and painted their nails red.
The three-day event that today was aimed at attracting visitors to the Chitwan conservation forests some 170 kilometres south of the capital, Katmandu.
Nepal is slowly recovering from the 10-year Maoist insurgency that killed more than 13,000 people and chased tourists from the Himalayan nation.