BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Asia-Pacific
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Wednesday, 14 February, 2001, 16:47 GMT
Thai elephants tie the knot
The two happy couples came together for the photographers
The two happy couples came together for the photographers
Thailand's, and possibly the world's, largest honeymooners are relaxing after a Valentine's Day double wedding witnessed by hundreds of onlookers.

Two elephant couples enjoyed a traditional Thai ceremony with all the trimmings before being whisked them away to a post-nuptial retreat.

Wearing flowing gowns with embroidered red hearts, the grooms, Plai Bua Ban (Blossoming Lotus), 24, and Nam Peung (Honey), 24; and their two brides, Pang Oi Ja (Sweetheart), 24 and Plai Nga Thong (Golden Tusk), 15, received presents of bowls and fruit and exchanged dowries in gold and silver bags carried by two orphaned baby elephants.

Nam Peung (right) also known as Honey,  and his 15-year-old bride Plai Nga Thong (Golden Tusk)
Nam Peung (right) also known as Honey, and his 15-year-old bride Plai Nga Thong (Golden Tusk)
Afterwards, their mahouts (keepers) and local officials helped all four mark trunk prints on giant marriage certificates before posing in front of temple ruins for the official wedding photographs.

All four left in trucks for the Ayutthaya Elephant Shelter, about 70km (44 miles) north of Bangkok.

An American volunteer at the shelter, Brian Clarke, said: "They'll retire to the honeymoon suite, which is in a quiet corner of the Royal Elephant Corral."

Declining population

He said the event was intended to raise awareness of Thailand's national animal.

The elephant population in Thailand has been falling in recent decades as their use as beasts of burden has declined.

The male elephants were brought to the shelter from nearby Pattaya last week to mate with the females who were both on heat.

"They've hit it off," said Mr Clarke. "If everybody isn't too tired perhaps there will be a consummation tonight."

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

06 Feb 01 | Asia-Pacific
'Tag Asian elephants' call
12 Dec 00 | Sci/Tech
Asian elephants 'cling to survival'
25 Apr 00 | Asia-Pacific
Lives of neglect and misery
10 Jul 00 | South Asia
Orphaned elephants go wild
24 Dec 98 | South Asia
India elephant rampage
07 Oct 99 | Asia-Pacific
Landmine elephant's steps to recovery
06 May 99 | South Asia
Elephant dies of grief
30 Dec 98 | Asia-Pacific
Thailand's elephants sick and abandoned
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Asia-Pacific stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Asia-Pacific stories