Thursday, 28 May 2020

Maungdaw, Arakan State: Another rare white elephant was captured by Hloontin (armed police) yesterday in the forests of Maungdaw Township, Burma said a local.

Acting on a tip off, on June 25 night, over 100 Hloontin (armed police) from 4-mile gate of Maungdaw town went to the Maung Nama village and Pawet Chaung village of Maungdaw Township along with experts experienced in trapping wild elephants.  They carried necessary equipment with them.

On June 26, at around 8 am, the Hloontin entered the forest in groups from Maung Nama village and Pawet Chaung village side  in search of the white elephant.

On June 27, at about 4 pm, the Hllontin trapped a white elephant in the forest near Powet Chaung village tract of Maungdaw Township. It was being guarded by two other wild elephants when it was caught. But, the other two elephants were left alone, said a villager who went with the Hloontin.  

According to the villager, the animal is being kept in a stockade in the forest by elephant keepers. After 20 days, it will be brought to Maungdaw Town. It needs to be given enough food to prevent it becoming weak.

Buddhists believe it is a good sign to have a white elephant in the country, for the country will remain peaceful.  Buddhists respect the white elephant, said a Rakhine in Cox’s Bazaar. 

The white elephant will be taken to Nyipaydaw after taming it in Maungdaw Township.

Last year, two rare white elephants were captured in western Burma's Arakan State. White elephants have also been seen as symbols of royalty, power and prosperity throughout Southeast Asia for hundreds of years. Burmese kings felt an increased sense of power when they possessed a white elephant.

Burma's military junta showed the first white elephant last year during the border crisis with Thailand, according to sources.

The junta tries to show case the white elephant as a sign of coming prosperity for the people of Burma.

One of the white elephants is being kept at Minn Dhama hill, outside Rangoon, where one of the Buddha’s teeth is believed to be kept, sources said.

If an elephant's skin turns red after having water poured on it, they are declared to be a rare white elephant but if the skin becomes darker, they are simply thought to be normal elephants, said an old Rakhine from Teknaf.