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A How To Guide to the Top 4 Strange Animal Sports (You May Not Have Heard Of)

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 9 15

Rabbit Show Jumping - Make that Bunny Hop!

Rabbit Show Jumping

Everyone knows rabbits can jump, so who knows why no one ever thought of jumping rabbits competitively untill some Swedes got the bright idea in the late 1970's.  Known as Kaninhoppning in its native Sweden, rabbit hopping is a club activity where rabbit hop over miniature equestrian style jumps.  Titles and awards go to the human bunny enthusiasts.  

Presumably, bunnies are specially breed to be winners like in the horse world, but since most rabbits can hope, perhaps if you can scare your bunny into running faster and jumping higher than anyone else's bunny you too can win big in the world of competitive rabbit show jumping. 

The official world record in high jump for rabbits is 995 millimetres (39.17 in), by Tösen & Tine Hygom (Denmark). The official world record in long jump for rabbits is 3000 millimetres (118.11 in), by Yaboo & Maria Jensen (Denmark).  Now that is some serious hopped up fun!  Can your rabbit do better?

Camel Wrestling

Camel Wrestling for Camel Love

So someone got seriously bored in the middle of the Arabian desert and said "hey Moh, I bet my camel can take your camel!"  Kind of like street racing muscle cars, camel wrestling is actually considered by the Turkish government to be part of the western Turkish culture, and although discouraged for most of the 20th century as barbaric, the sport is growing in popularity again.

Camel wrestling uses two male Tulu camels (a cross between single hump and double humped camels that is bigger than either bred). To encourage the male camels to dust it up for the masses, lead one horny female camel in front of the two buff male camels and watch them compete violently for the attentions of the pretty girl. Loser is the first camel to hit the deck or flee.

Camel wrestling can be profitable if your camel can kick camel butt and not break his neck in the process - one successful fighter sold in Turkey for a cool US$20,000.  Winning in camel wrestling gets the camel owner cash and prizes that reflect the prestigious of the tournament.  

Camel fighting is not only dangerous to camels though. The blood sport can also be dangerous for the owner of the camel when the fired up camel owners come to blows with each other. If you prefer to watch rather than enter a humped contender, be careful and keep a safe distance.  Spectators are subject to angry camel spit. Losing contenders often end up running through the crowd and may not be watching where they step in their rush to get out of the ring.    

Cricket Fighting in Shanghai

Insect Blood Sport

Cricket fighting is a blood sport involving specially breed male crickets who fight it out. It has nothing to do with English Cricket players beating each other up.  Cricket fighting rarely causes injuries to the animals though so it is not as barbaric as some blood sports. 

Cricket fighting is an authentically Chinese past-time with a documented 1,000+ year history. In addition the competitive nature of the sport and the thrill of having a winning cricket fighter, cricket fighting is also one of the biggest gambling past times in China.  It is also illegal in China to bet on cricket battles, but that rule only seems to give the gamblers some extra thrill.

To get rich and famous in the competitive world of cricket fighting, source your pedigreed crickets from the northeastern part of Shandong Province. There you can find highly knowledgeable cricket keepers with specially breed crickets from long distinguished lines of fighting bugs.

Keep your fighting cricket its own personal clay pot and feed it cricket food like ground shrimp, red beans, goat liver, and maggots (yum!)  A well feed cricket is a happy bug.  

While betting on cricket battles is illegal on the Mainland, it still legal Macau, so head to the former Portuguese colony for some serious completion and high stakes fights.  

Before fight night, add some sexy female crickets to your hopeful champion's home pot to get him excited and ready to do serious cricket battle.  It also helps to wave little sticks at the crickets to really tick them off.  

Some crickets become very famous, even earning cricket funerals for the champions. May you become vicariously famous through your pet bugs. 

Betta Watch Out

Siamese fighting fish, also know as bettas are somewhat famous among aquarium enthusiasts. What many fish lovers don't know is that placing male bettas together to savagely attack each other is a developing sport that attracts audience bets on who will be the victor.  

The betta is so aggressive that it will attack a mirror placed in front of it, so getting the male fish to kill each other is not hard.  (this fish is flaring at his own reflection)

Like the other animal sports listed here, one must consider the ethical issues of getting fish to turn each other into sushi, but there is no denying that watching two fighting fish duke it out is a unique sight.

To get into fighting bettas, you'll need to acquire some male fish.  Test for stronger fish by fighting them against each other.  The fish that consistently busts up the competition should be good to go on the fighting circuit.  When not fighting, male fighting fish need to be keep not only in separate tanks but out of sight of each other. This will reduce stress and keep them in better shape.

Don't plan to give your Tyson a harem either.  Putting female and male specimens together is not wise (except for breeding, in which the female should be removed immediately after the process) as they will often attack and try to kill each other, much like humans in a bad marriage. Female bettas can sometimes be kept together in groups of three to 8 in larger tanks with hiding places for the less-aggressive females.  With testing and research, bettas can be housed with carefully selected other fish species that don't annoy them.



Dec 9, 2011 1:47am
reading about these three animal sports makes me realize that the world is still a very big place and i need to visit more of it! thx for the fascinating cultural tour via animal competitions!
Dec 9, 2011 11:50am
Amen to that :)
Dec 9, 2011 8:45am
These are pretty amazing sports. I've never heard of any of them!
Dec 9, 2011 11:50am
Stumbled across rabbit jumping while writing another rabbit article and found camel wrestling by searching for strange sports after finding the rabbit jumping. I knew about cricket fighting from my China travels, so I used it to round out the article. I love discovering new things while researching to write.
Jan 26, 2012 1:28pm
Weird but entertaining!
Jan 26, 2012 1:32pm
I agree! Thumbs up!
Jan 26, 2012 1:32pm
Interesting article on sports. Camel wrestling? That's crazy..
Jan 27, 2012 6:34am
What a fun article! It's that kind of info that makes good conversation in dull moments! Congrats on the feature article!
Jan 27, 2012 11:07am
If you are going to watch camel wrestling remember to keep a safe distance. Horny camels denied the opportunity to hump a humped mate get pretty dangerous!
Jan 27, 2012 11:09am
Great fun. I wonder id gambling options on these will ever show up in the big Las Vegas casinos.
Jan 27, 2012 1:46pm

And I loved this piece. GREAT job with entertaining AND informing (nice, loose writing style, too). A big ol' hoppin' thumbs up!!
Jan 29, 2012 6:52pm
Kinda weird but pretty interesting. Thanks for sharing!
Feb 1, 2012 10:42am
There are more animalsports but very cruel in nature
Feb 2, 2012 7:18pm
This is awesome info, thanks! Entertaining too.
Jan 5, 2013 2:51pm
I guess you learn something everyday. I didn't know about Bunny show jumping nor camel wrestling. Although, to be honest, I'll stick with the Bunnies for now.
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