Elephant Darts? For any that are not familiar with this variation of darts - it's not at all uncommon here in Thailand. Well that is - popular in some parts like Chiang Mai and Pattaya but for some reason the game never caught on with the elephants in the Bangkok area. All these locations - like all major tourist destination in Thailand have elephant shows. The show in Bangkok has what I think the best recreation of elephants used on battlefields in olden times among other acts. But all shows include a bit of the history of how these noble beasts were used in logging pulling timber from the jungles.

Now some tree hugger / animal rights activist types may condemn having elephants do anything outside lounging around in their natural habitat. But the truth is that there is far less of their natural habitat left and these shows provide money for them to be kept and kept well from what I saw at Nongnooch Tropical Garden & Resort just outside Pattaya. They are provided with a large area to lounge around in and the more talented elephants to do two shows a day - which seems a fair deal to me.
Now I'm far from an elephant expert but the elephants really seemed excited to get washed down beforehand and even a bit eager about show time about to start not unlike any other performers. It's amazing how these animals pick up on the tricks they learn and how well that they do at it. And it wasn't just unconcerned repetition of tricks but really trying their best. The elephants knew when they threw a good dart and let out a happy sound or a disappointed sound when a bad dart was thrown - not unlike their human counterparts. A bit of general background information on elephant darts.
So how did this elephant darts match come about back in Aug 2008? Darts writer and friend - Paul Seigel "Dartoid" emailed me and asked if I could set up a darts match for him against an elephant. I replied sure but had no idea how. I called up my friend Keiran - we'd done various darts projects in the past. Keiran said he didn't know either but would have his wife Jah make some phone calls. As darts celebrities challenging elephants is a relativity a new thing - there were no normal channels to go through. And it should be noted that if it weren't for Jah's persistence and perseverance - this match would never have occurred.

Match day came soon enough and we were off to Pattaya the night before to prepare for the match. It was a first for all involved - Paul playing an elephant - Osmin playing a human - Keiran videoing an elephant match - Jayke announcing an elephant match and me photographing one. As you might guess - elephant darts - boards and the throw area is slightly larger than what you see in most bars.  
It was a unique and enjoyable darts outing - one like few others have ever experienced. Thanks to Keiran for all his time and effort on the videos which can be viewed below. And to Jayke - not many people can call an elephant darts match like him - which also has many others wondering about his overall mental state. Special thanks to Nongnooch Tropical Garden & Resort and all their fine folks for making all this possible and for sure be sure and visit them if you have the opportunity or  - CLICK HERE - to check out their website. And last - but not least - to Paul "Dartoid" who will agree to just about any zany darts challenge to promote darts. If you don't already follow Dartoid's World be sure and check out his website and become yet another of darts enlightened players. Click on his logo to check out his site. Below are the match videos and below that is a link to go to the photo gallery of this event. And always remember - "Never understatement an elephant's ability at darts." - -  Johnny 


To go directly to a photo gallery corresponding to this page - click the above link.