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Tuesday, 11 July, 2000, 17:31 GMT 18:31 UK
Thai jumbo queen hits big time
Panta Inthalaksana
Panta Inthalaksana and her winning smile
A 187 kilo Thai woman has won the illustrious title of Miss Jumbo 2000 at an annual competition held in Bangkok.

Panta Inthalaksana, 34, beat off some heavy competition to seize the title and a cheque for 20,000 baht ($500).


weighing scales
Panta beat off some heavy competition
The competition is held every year by a Thai elephant charity to draw attention to the country's diminishing elephant population.

Organisers reject suggestions that the contest is designed to mock fat women.

They say the event is more of a celebration and a demonstration that fat women, like elephants, can be beautiful and graceful.

In Thailand elephants have for centuries been revered and highly valued creatures.

But their numbers have dwindled in recent years following the collapse of traditional jobs in the logging industry.

A number of elephants and their owners - or mahouts - have been forced to head for big cities such as Bangkok where they earn money begging from tourists who pay money to have their pictures taken with them.

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02 May 99 | Asia-Pacific
Finding Miss Elephant
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