Wham! Rams lock horns at temple

A referee pays close attention as the competitors lock horns.

Two rams are seen tussling in front of a huge crowd at a temple fair in Shandong Province, China.

Animal rights activists oppose the ram fights but organisers say the animals are only expressing their natural instincts in locking horns.

The fights, which are less violent than dog or cock fighting, are a popular form of entertainment in India, Indonesia and northern Africa, as well as China.

The ancient practice at the Haoshantou Township will see more than 120 rams attempt to headbutt each other out of the competition this weekend.

The fights draw a big crowd at the temple.Xinhua-Landov-Barcroft Media

The fights draw a big crowd at the temple.

Ram fights see the animals, who are fed on a diet of soybeans, maize and yam peelings, compete in different weight classes and usually last around 50 blows.

The bouts in the dirt ring provoke many wagers, while the animals are adopted by 'supporters' who cheer them to victory.

A fight ends when one ram flees or is judged to have lost by the referee.