Brutal picture of mob setting elephant calf on fire bags top award
Kolkata : A brutal picture of an elephant calf humiliated by fire in West Bengal has bagged the Sanctuary Wildlife Photography Awards of the year on Wednesday.
The picture, titled as 'hell is here', was clicked by Biplab Hazra. It captured a screaming baby elephant and its mother running in confusion and pain down the middle of a road. "The heat from the fire scorches their delicate skin as mother and child attempt to flee the mob…Flaming tar balls and crackers fly through the air to a soundtrack of human laughter and shouts," Mr. Hazra described in the caption of the picture, published in sanctuaryasia.com.
Hazra, a brick kiln owner by profession, told The New Indian Express the calf "somehow survived" the attack. Crackers are burst and fires raged to ward off the herds, he said.
"The calf may not have been intentionally set on fire by the villagers living in the vicinity of the elephant corridor that stretches from southwestern West Bengal up to Saranda forest in Jharkhand, but bursting crackers and throwing fireballs on elephant herds has been a common practice in this part of West Bengal," he said.
India has a healthy percentage of about 70 per cent Asian elephants living in a handful of Indian states.