Camel Wrestling

There's no blood so let's hope PETA gets off our backs

By Sean Sweeney

camel wrestling

You’ve probably heard of cock fighting. And Michael Vick attempted to make it cool to dog fight – but that didn’t work out well. I guess he didn’t realize most people would be angry if they saw blood.

Well, in Turkey and in other Mediterranean countries, they also breed animals to fight. Yet, they don’t fight for blood. That’s part of what makes these battles so attractive. The other part is the animals themselves: camels.

Camel wrestling is the football of Turkey. They set up barbeques, cook outs, and tailgate before the actual matches go down.

These camels are so treasured that many wrestling championships end in draws because their owners don’t want to risk hurting the prized animals.

Camel wrestling has drawn crowds of over 1,000 for around 100 years. During the boring winter months, breeders bring together these animals to watch them wrestle. First, they walk a female camel around, enticing the males to prove themselves – then they let them go at it.

Watching camel fighting is like observing two elephant-giraffe hybrids locking necks and pushing, trying to force the other onto the ground.

This creates a continuous circle. Think of a dog chasing its tail. Now, multiply that by dozens and you get my picture: two enormous mammals entwining their necks to do the merry-go-round. Nothing could be any more entertaining, unless you added some jello.

And when a breeder wins, it’s like his or her whole village wins. Free food and booze for everyone!

The prizes are miniscule, especially considering it takes about $1,500 a year to take care of these huge animals. But, people do it because the camels are a sign of power and respect, like a huge diamond chain in Manhattan or a shiny, John Deere tractor in Idaho.

Image courtesy of The Telegraph

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