Rare White Elephant Found in Burma

Creature hailed as sign of good luck
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 29, 2010 1:04 PM CDT
In this image made off MRTV video footage, a rare white elephant is caught in the jungles in Maungdaw township in northwestern Rakhine state, Myanmar.   (AP Photo/MRTV)

(Newser) – Villagers in western Myanmar have found a rare white elephant, a traditional symbol of good fortune in a region that badly needs it. The villagers spotted the animal in a herd of five elephants and contacted the Ministry of Forestry, which captured it, Reuters reports. White elephants—which are actually brown, but have pale patches of hide—are so revered in Asian countries that wars have been fought over them.

It’s the third white elephant captured in the country since 2001, and all three were found in the same region. But that region hasn’t been particularly lucky lately; it’s been besieged by floods. In Rakhnie State, where the elephant was found, more than 60 have died in floods or landslides, many in the same area where the elephant appeared.

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