An elephant calf and its mother run across a road close to a crowd that has hurled flaming tar balls and crackers at them in West Bengal. This photo, named 'Hell is Here', is the winner of Sanctuary Wildlife Photography Awards 2017. Photographer Biplab Hazra writes, 'The calf screams in confusion and fear as the fire licks at her feet.' Photo: Biplab Hazra

By May Bulman
8 November 2017

(The Independent) – An image of a baby elephant fleeing a mob that has just set it on fire has won top entry in a pan-Asian wildlife photography competition, the Sanctuary Wildlife Photography Awards 2017.

It shows the calf and its mother running across a road close to a crowd that has hurled flaming tar balls and crackers at them, reportedly to ward the elephants away from human settlements.

The picture, titled “Hell is here” and taken by Biplab Hazra, a wildlife photographer from West Bengal state, won the 2017 Sanctuary’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year award.

Speaking to the Indian Express afterwards, Mr Hazra said the two elephants "somehow survived" the brutal mob attack.

Announcing the award for the photo, taken in West Bengal, which has often been in the news for human deaths caused by encounters with elephants, Sanctuary magazine said “this sort of humiliation … is routine”.

The magazine's note accompanying the photograph explains that this was also a case of human-elephant conflict, explaining that a “crowd of jeering men” were flinging “flaming tar balls and crackers” at the two elephants when Biplab Hazra took the photograph.

Mr Hazra recalls the calf screaming in “confusion” as it fled, adding: “For these smart, gentle, social animals who have roamed the subcontinent for centuries, hell is now and here.” [more]

Photo of baby elephant on fire after being attacked by mob wins international award


7 November 2017 (Sanctuary Asia) – Hell is Here: The heat from the fire scorches their delicate skin as mother and child attempt to flee the mob. In the lead, the cow’s expansive ears are angled forward as she stoically ignores the crowd of jeering men. Behind her, her calf screams in confusion and fear as the fire licks at her feet. Flaming tar balls and crackers fly through the air to a soundtrack of human laughter and shouts. In the Bankura district of West Bengal this sort of humiliation of pachyderms is routine, as it is in the other elephant-range states of Assam, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu and more. India is the world’s stronghold for the Asian elephant and boasts over 70 per cent of the global population of the species. But this achievement rings hollow as vital elephant habitats and routes continue to be ravaged, and human-elephant conflict escalates to a fatal degree. The ignorance and bloodlust of mobs that attack herds for fun, is compounded by the plight of those that actually suffer damage to land, life and property by wandering elephants and the utter indifference of the central and state government to recognise the crisis that is at hand. For these smart, gentle, social animals who have roamed the sub-continent for centuries, hell is now and here.

Wildlife Photographer Of The Year: Biplab Hazra

0 comments :

 

Blog Template by Adam Every . Sponsored by Business Web Hosting Reviews