An image of an adult elephant and it’s calf being set on fire by a violent crowd, has won a top Asian wildlife photography award.
The shocking photo shows the two wild animals running away and people hurled flaming balls of tar and crackers at them.
Taken by Biplab Hazra, the photo titled: ‘Hell is here’, was captured in the Bankura district of West Bengal, where human-elephant conflict is rife.
The image won the contest – run by Sanctuary wildlife magazine – and Hazra said the calf was screaming in ‘confusion’ as it fled the ‘crowd of jeering men’, BBC reports.
According to Sanctuary Asia 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.
70 per cent of the world’s population of Asian elephants live in India, but the conflict between them and local people result in up to 300 human deaths and 50 elephant deaths per year.
It’s heart-breaking to see photos like this.