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Thai elephants fly to japan
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  1. #1
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    Gor Gai



    Two Thai elephants -- five-year-old bull Arthit (L) and four-year-old cow Uthai ® -- wait in the cargo warehouse of Bangkok International Airport on October 11, 2002 prior to boarding a plane bound for Tokyo. The elephant couple, whose names mean the Sun and Rising respectively, are a 'token of appreciation' from Thailand's northeastern province of Surin to celebrate the birth of Japan's Princess Aiko. The official presentation ceremony will be held later this month at a Tokyo zoo. REUTERS/ Sukree Sukplang

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    Thailand donates two elephants in honour of Japan's Princess Aiko

    Channel News Asia, Singapore, 11 Oct 2002

    Two young Thai elephants are on their way to a zoo in Tokyo, as gifts to honour Japan's newest royal Princess Aiko.

    The animals are a five-year-old female called 'Uthai' and a six-year-old male called 'Pra Atit'. Put together, their names mean "Rising Sun", a traditional name for Japan.

    The elephants are from Surin, a province in Thailand's poor northeast.

    Japanese non-Government organisations (NGOs) have been giving development aid to Surin for many years, and so the gift of the elephants is their way of saying "thank you" to the groups and the Japanese people.

    Chachawarn Moolsart, Organisation for Industrial, Spiritual and Cultural Advancement, Operation Coordinator, "The relationship between Surin and Japan has been growing but we don't have anything to return their kindness. So we're giving these elephants in the name of the province."

    Princess Aiko was born last year to the Crown Prince and his wife Princess Masako.

    The flight to Japan from Bangkok is about six hours. And of course, they went in a jumbo jet.

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