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Locals prepare for rhinoceros beetle fighting competition in northern Thailand

Rhinocerous beetles take part in training sessions - getting ready for an annual fighting tournament. The shiny black creatures were beings showed off by their owner in Phayao, northern Thailand, last Sunday (September 15). The annual rhinoceros beetle fighting tournament will take place at the weekend and local enthusiasts are keen to see their prize beetles claim victory. Watcharapong Dechata, 40, is preparing for the event. He said: "I have participated in the contest since I was a boy. I'm proud that the competition is still thriving. "Besides bringing locals people together, the contest is also a traditional activity that should be preserved as it teaches us how to live alongside small insects." Catching and raising the beetles is a subculture among people in northern Thailand. They will hold fighting competitions during this period each year. The competitions include fights, beauty contests and awards for the strangest beetles. Beetle lovers usually put their insects on a sugar cane stem and let them suck up the syrup from it is believed to give the beetle strength. The battle avenue is a long piece of wood where the creatures go head-to-head. Each beetle can sell for up to 2,000 baht (52 GBP).
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