World

Myanmar captures 9th rare white elephant celebrated by kings and believed to bring good luck

FILE - In this Jan. 4, 2012, file photo, a white elephant is fed grass at a zoo in Naypyitaw, Myanmar. Myanmar says it has found a rare, white elephant in the jungles of the western Ayeyarwaddy region. Forestry official Tun Tun Oo says the 7-year-old female was captured by his department Friday, Feb. 27, 2015, six weeks after it was initially spotted in a forest reserve in Pathein township.(AP Photo/Apichart Weerawong, File)

FILE - In this Jan. 4, 2012, file photo, a white elephant is fed grass at a zoo in Naypyitaw, Myanmar. Myanmar says it has found a rare, white elephant in the jungles of the western Ayeyarwaddy region. Forestry official Tun Tun Oo says the 7-year-old female was captured by his department Friday, Feb. 27, 2015, six weeks after it was initially spotted in a forest reserve in Pathein township.(AP Photo/Apichart Weerawong, File)  (The Associated Press)

Myanmar says it has found a rare, white elephant in the jungles of the western Ayeyarwaddy region.

Forestry official Tun Tun Oo says the 7-year-old female was captured by his department on Friday, a month and a half after it was initially spotted in a forest reserve in Pathein township.

White elephants, actually albinos, have for centuries been revered in Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and other Asian nations.

Often pinkish in color, with fair eyelashes and toenails, the animals were normally kept and pampered by monarchs as a symbol of royal power and prosperity — and many people still believe they bring good luck to the country.

Myanmar has eight white elephants in captivity — five in Naypyitaw Zoo and three in Yangon Zoo. Most of them are from the Ayeyarwaddy region.