In light of my favorite NFL team's recent victory, I couldn't help making a post about elephants playing football. Or, as I should clarify for us Americans, soccer.
Elephants do play football, just not American football. They play the world's football in many nations around the world, and are quite good at it. In fact, it's somewhat of a professional sport.
Here's how it works:
The elephants play against people, or against other elephants. There are about six or eight elephants on the field at a time, depending on whether it's a human-pachyderm game or if just elephants are playing.
There are similar positions as normal soccer, with a goalie, strikers and defenders. There's probably more than one ball used, because let's be honest, it would be pretty easy for an elephant to flatten it.
Elephants are guided by mahouts, or trainers, who ride on their backs and help them work as a team. Elephants of all ages and sizes participate, and seem to have a pretty good time. Watch a video of elephants against students during the 2014 Elephant World Cup.
Kerry Skiff is a conservation advocate and recent journalism graduate of Northern Kentucky University. She follows the ivory trade around the world, and uses her voice to educate Americans about their role in animal conservation.