‘Hell is here’: Photo of elephants fleeing mob attack wins top prize at Sanctuary Wildlife Photograph Awards
Mumbai: The captivating and chilling photograph of a baby elephant and its mother escaping a mob attack in West Bengal’s Bankura district has earned its photographer, Biplab Hazra, the top award of Sanctuary’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2017.
The image, titled ‘Hell is Here’, depicts the two elephants running for their lives in the middle of the road, with the baby elephant screaming in fear.
Hazra, whose picture on wildlife was published in sanctuaryasia.com, has captioned the image as, “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”.
Meanwhile, commenting on this photograph on their Facebook page, Sanctuary Asia 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.”
“India is the world’s stronghold for the Asian elephant and boasts over 70 per cent of the global population of the species. But this achievement rings hollow as vital elephant habitats and routes continue to be ravaged, and human-elephant conflict escalates to a fatal degree,” it further said.
Meanwhile, in an interview with the New Indian Express, Hazra, who is a brick kiln owner by profession, said that the calf was somehow able to survive the “brutal” mob attack.
“I had never seen such an incident in 14 years of my wildlife photography career. All my concentration was only on clicking the photograph.” he told the daily.
The photograph was clicked State Highway 9 in West Bengal and the top Asian wildlife magazine felicitated the photographer at an event in Mumbai on Sunday.