Camel Wrestling

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - CLASSIFIEDS -

CAMEL wrestling is a sport in which two male Tulu camels wres­tle, typ­i­cally in re­sponse to a fe­male camel in heat be­ing walked be­fore them. This weird sport orig­i­nated among Tur­kic tribes over 2400 years ago, al­though camels also wres­tle in the wild, so the prac­tice oc­curred long be­fore hu­mans de­cided to or­gan­ise fights. The events are gen­er­ally held dur­ing mat­ing sea­son, due to the fe­male mo­ti­va­tion for the male camels. It is dif­fi­cult to con­vince male camels to fight with­out one nearby, so or­gan­is­ers have at­tempted to en­tan­gle two camels to­gether or starve the camels to make them more ag­gres­sive. The camels fight by us­ing their necks as lever­age to force their op­po­nent to fall down. A camel is de­clared the win­ner if his com­peti­tor falls to the ground or flees from the fight. Most of the fight­ing camels are bred in Iran or Afghanistan and a suc­cess­ful camel can be sold for over $20,000. But the crazi­ness doesn’t stop there, the events also gen­er­ally see a camel beauty com­pe­ti­tion, camel races, mu­si­cians and on oc­ca­sion camel meat may be served to spec­ta­tors. Camel wrestling was also a pop­u­lar event at the La­hore Horse and Cat­tle show, but it was ex­cluded from the pro­gram dur­ing the visit of Queen El­iz­a­beth II in 1961 as it was deemed ‘‘too fierce’’ for the Queen. Dur­ing the 1850s an Amer­i­can mil­i­tary of­fi­cer was in­spired by the pop­u­lar­ity of Camel Wrestling in the Mid­dle East and set out to es­tab­lish a Camel Wrestling tour­na­ment in Texas - he was un­suc­cess­ful, how­ever, due in part to the start of the Amer­i­can Civil War in 1861.

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