A BEAUTY contest featuring no sashes, tiaras, swimwear or hair extensions has taken place in Nepal - because all the contestants are elephants.

Ninety elephants and their mahouts (handlers) entered the contest, part of Nepal’s elephant festival, in Chitwan national park.

Contestants were assessed on their decorations, including headdresses and painted toenails, with just three making it through to the final.

Chitwan Kali emerged victorious, with a panel of five judges praising her decorations and cleanliness. Shri Ram of the elephant management committee told the Reuters news agency: ‘Chitwan Kali came out first as it was judged that the decoration on the elephant was very beautiful.’ He added that the elephant was ‘able to obey the command of mahout’.

As part of the same festival, elephants took part in a football match in Sauraha village, 106 miles south of Kathmandu, with an elephant named Pele emerging as the star of the show.               –Metro