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Rare white elephant captured in Myanmar

The white elephant found Saturday will be the fourth held in captivity in Myanmar, where the animals are revered. The white elephant found Saturday will be the fourth held in captivity in Myanmar, where the animals are revered. (Myanmar News Agency/Reuters)
Associated Press / June 30, 2010

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YANGON, Myanmar — A rare white elephant has been captured in the jungles of northwestern Myanmar, a mostly Buddhist country where the animals are considered good omens, state media reported yesterday.

Forestry officials found the animal Saturday, acting on a tip, in the jungles of northwestern Rakhine state, the New Light of Myanmar reported, describing the elephant as about 38 years old and 7 feet 4 inches tall.

White elephants, actually albinos, have for centuries been revered in Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, and other Asian nations. They were normally kept and pampered by monarchs and considered a symbol of royal power and prosperity.

The elephants are not necessarily white. They can look similar to other elephants except for certain features like fair eyelashes and toenails, light-colored hair, or a reddish hue to the skin.

It will be the fourth white elephant held in captivity in Myanmar.

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