Photo of burning elephant, calf wins top prize | The Daily Star
12:39 PM, November 08, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:01 PM, November 08, 2017

Photo of elephant, calf fleeing fire-throwing mob wins top prize

A striking image showing an adult elephant and its calf fleeing a mob attack has won a top Asian wildlife photography prize.

The photograph was taken by Biplab Hazra, a wildlife photographer from West Bengal. Photograph: Biplab Hazra/Sanctuary wildlife photography awards

The stunning image titled 'Hell is Here' was taken by Biplab Hazra for which he was awarded the Sanctuary's Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2017, reports The Times of India.

In the image, the heat from the fire scorches their delicate skin as the elephant mother and calf attempt to flee the mob, reports The Times of India.

“In the lead, the mother's expansive ears are angled forward as she 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,” The Times of India writes in a story published on November 6.

According to The Guardian, the Sanctuary Nature Foundation, which awarded the prize, said: “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.”

The Sanctuary Wildlife Photography Awards is India's longest-running and prestigious initiative of its kind. This year, the Photography Awards drew over 5,000 entries from across Asia, beating all previous records.

Sanctuary believes that powerful, evocative images have the power to draw out supportive human responses; and that photography is an art form that has helped protect wildernesses virtually from the time cameras were invented.

Conservation photography is a blend of technical skills, natural history knowledge, field experience, and an innate desire to protect wild nature. The Sanctuary Wildlife Photography Awards showcased all that, and more, reports The Times of India. 

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