Picture of elephants on fire wins Picture competition

A wildlife photography contest has been won by A picture of two elephants fleeing a mob who place the animals alight.

The image, which RNZ has cropped, won an award for highlighting humna-elephant conflict.

The picture, which RNZ has cropped, won an award for highlighting human-elephant battle. Photo: Biplab Hazra / Sanctuary Wildlife Photography Awards 2017

After burning balls of tar threw at the elephants, Biplab Hazra’s image indicates a calf on flame because it and also an adult run to their lives in southern India.

The complete version of the photograph can be viewed here and will distress some people.

Announcing the award, Sanctuary magazine stated “this sort of embarrassment… is regular”.

The photograph was shot in West Bengal, in which battle is rife.

It is uncertain what eventually happened in the award-winning picture, which was shot in Bankura district to the two elephants.

The district has frequently been in the news for individual deaths.

The magazine’s note accompanying the photograph explained that this was a case of human-elephant battle.

The note stated a “bunch of jeering men” were flinging “flaming pitch balls and crackers” at the two elephants once Biplab Hazra shot the photograph.

He recalled the calf screaming in “confusion” because it fled.

“For all these smart, tender, social creatures who’ve roamed the subcontinent for centuries, hell is here and now,” he further added.

The photograph has attracted plenty of focus.

Mainak Mazumder, who resides in Bankura, commented that villagers were responsible for “significant habitat destruction” and that “elephants are subjected to horrendous abuses and tortures”.

But, he explained, elephants also have “wreaked havoc” by ruining plants, destructive farmland, also have “murdered innocent people”.


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