In the southeast Asian country of Myanmar, formally called Burma, the birth (in July 2022) of a white elephant is being celebrated.
With eyes the color of pearls, and the characteristic ‘big ears, plantain branch-shaped back, white hair, distinctive tail, auspicious plot signs on the skin’ and the unique number of ‘claws, five on the front legs and four on the back,’ this little male calf is one to be revered.
In ancient times white elephants ‘were considered extremely auspicious in the Southeast Asian culture’ with the rich and powerful boasting of acquiring them in order to increase their wealth. Their downfall came as the costs ‘of keeping the beasts in an appropriately lavish style’ escalated making a ‘white elephant’ a more undesirable, although beautiful, thing.
The 33 year old mother elephant, Zar Nan Hla, is owned by the Myanmar Timber Enterprise* in Rakhine state. Her calf weighed about 180 pounds standing about 2 1/2 feet tall.
- The circumstances surrounding the captivity of these two elephants, mother & baby, has not been exposed in these sources, nor researched further by ESH, which is beyond the scope of this article. But ESH readers know all too well that the life of a logging elephant is a cruel one, indeed. Let us hope that the rarity of this white elephant will protect him from this cruel fate throughout his life. The life of his mother is another story.
Images: Rare white elephant with mother & in the river (1); Unnamed male white elephant (3)
(2) ’Rare white elephant born in Myanmar’ By MizzimaTV cc video https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=gVQKZhNb_oA
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