Sanctuary Wildlife Photography Awards 2017: Biplab Hazra’s picture shows a calf on fire as it and an adult elephant run for their lives in eastern India. This picture has won the Sanctuary Wildlife Photography Award.
The award was issued by the Sanctuary Nature Foundation, a Mumbai based non-governmental organization (NGO) that works towards biodiversity conservation and community engagement. Announcing the award, Sanctuary magazine said: “this sort of humiliation… is routine”.
Termed as ‘hell hole’, here’s why we need to look at this award-winning photograph that shows the death of humanity and wildlife in a single frame. The photo was taken in West Bengal, where human-elephant conflict is rife. It’s unclear what eventually happened to the two elephants in the award-winning picture, which was taken in Bankura district.
The photograph shows two elephants trying to escape the flaming tar bombs and crackers thrown at them. The photograph by Biplab Hazra is proof of the unending elephant-human conflict.
According to Sanctuary Asia foundation, this sort of behavior is quite common in Bankura district of West Bengal. Even though India sustains 70 percent of the world’s Asian elephant species, it is shameful to see that us humans cannot protect, provide and nurture our own wildlife.
The environment ministry said 84 elephants were killed between April 2014 and May this year, mostly in poacher attacks. The endangered species are targeted for their tusks. There is no controversy that these poor creatures suffered greatly at our hands.