Photo of Burning Baby Elephant Wins Wildlife Photo Contest

Photo of Burning Baby Elephant Wins Wildlife Photo Contest

"Hell Is Here" is the title of Biplab Hazra's photograph of a burning elephant calf that got him this year's Wildlife Photographer Of The Year Award from, which describes itself as India's leading nature and wildlife conservation portal.

The picture was taken in the Bankura district of West Bengal, a state in eastern India. According to Sanctuary Asia, "This sort of humiliation is routine, as it is in the other elephant-range states of Assam, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu. India is the world’s stronghold for the Asian elephant and boasts over 70 percent of the global population of the species."

With around one elephant per every four square miles in West Bengal, clashes with the human population are a frequent occurrence. 

Further, Sanctuary elaborates on the issue: "The ignorance and bloodlust of mobs that attack herds for fun is compounded by the plight of those that actually suffer damage to land, life, and property by wandering elephants and the utter indifference of the central and state government to recognize the crisis that is at hand. For these smart, gentle, social animals who have roamed the sub-continent for centuries, hell is now and here."

Photo by Biplab Hazra 

[via Sanctuaryasia]

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Gary Randall's picture

Humans suck.

Anonymous's picture

The beginning of prejudice.

Anonymous's picture

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi

William Howell's picture

I would like to be the big turd, (full of peanuts), in the punch bowl, if this is Bengal’s culture, then we must respect this and not appropriate these wonderfully spirited wacky hi-jinks, or appropriate them. I forget which it is, but you know. : )

Anonymous's picture

"wonderfully spirited wacky hi-jinks"? I'm confused.

Edit: Oh. I get it now. A sarcastic commentary on PC culture, right? Sorry. I'm a bit slow.

So maybe there are times where a sentence like "those who did that should be burned as well" is applicable despite not being quite ethical.

Anonymous's picture

If you get a chance, watch "The Legend of Tarzan" (2016). There's a relevant sub plot.

Another reason not to travel to India.

Anonymous's picture

It's easy to feel that way but try to resist. I wouldn't want the United States to be judged by the actions of a few idiots and wouldn't do that to any other country.

There are many reasons why I have no interest in traveling to India.

Anonymous's picture

Oh yeah? Like what? I'm kinda torn on it. There are things and places I'd love to see. My best friend, in my childhood, was 100% Indian. His father was from India and his mother was an American Indian. :-)
On the other hand, there are things he told me that don't sound particularly attractive and there are so many other places higher on my list to visit.
I wouldn't rule it out.

Overcrowded, dirty and widespread poverty are three reasons. The later is shameful for a country with so many educated people, which brings up widespread corruption as another reason. No thanks.

Michael Holst's picture

Sounds like the United States ;)

Quite an ignorant remark.

Michael Holst's picture

You been to L.A. much? How does your comment not ring as much ignorance?

I've been to LA many times; your comment is still grossly ignorant. So much so that it is probably based in anti-Americanism.

How does my comment not ring of ignorance? Basic geographical facts is a good start.

Michael Holst's picture

So there's no corruption, poverty, or dirty places in the United States? jeez my mistake. It's been great all along and we didn't need to make it great again?

How did you arrive at none of that in America from what I have said?

Michael Holst's picture

Maybe you should read mor carefully.

No, you need to do that.

Anonymous's picture


Elan Govan's picture

No worries Bob, I am sure the Indians are not losing sleepless night worried sick that you will not be visiting India. There has been two mass killing and here we are rubbishing another country. I am not anti American, just anti stupid human being. The Taj Mahal was commissioned in 1630, a good 100 odd years before large part of North America became the USA. Please don't add to existing pompous views here.

Having said this, animal cruelty exist in all countries...including the United Kingdom. Reality is, stupid people do even more stupid things regardless of nationality. Just like the recent mass shooting in the US.

Asiatic cheetah in India was declared extinct in India; it is the only animal in recorded history to become extinct from India due to unnatural causes. All thanks to the British.

The Indians may not be losing sleep about me not visiting India but apparently you are.

"There has been two mass killing and here we are rubbishing another country."

I'm not rubbishing any country. I simply stated some facts, facts that would prevent me from visiting India. I know a lot of people today have a problem with the truth but I don't.

"I am not anti American.."

Why would you even need to say that?

.The Taj Mahal was commissioned in 1630, a good 100 odd years before large part of North America became the USA."

So? Does that make I what posted not true?

"Asiatic cheetah in India was declared extinct in India; it is the only animal in recorded history to become extinct from India due to unnatural causes."

Looks like they are working on adding to that.

"All thanks to the British."

White man's guilt or fact?

William Howell's picture

Oh my, there have been more than two mass killings in the past two months! But I get what you’re saying, most people don’t care about our black people murdering each other and that is reprehensible.

Anonymous's picture

I think you're painting the entire country with a very broad brush. From my understanding, there are very distinct, disparate regions.

No Sam. You should know by now I'm extremely objective and fair. As a tourist I consider very carefully what is generally known about a country before I consider traveling to it. If I have to work hard at finding a particular location in a country where those deterring factors don't exist, as you suggest, then that's again another reason for not visiting such a country.

Some foreigners have an issue traveling to America because of heavy handed border cops. You know what? Their concerns are valid. As an American I don't take such a thing personal because it is true. America does have a problem with Nazi like border cops, and cops in general. I'll still travel in America over India every time.

Anonymous's picture

To be honest, I haven't really researched India at all. As I said, it's pretty low on my list of places to go. My only experience with border cops is, going to Canada. The American was a bit heavy handed but I always attribute any encounter to the individual and whatever may be going on in their life at the time. Not that I'm excusing them. There's justice and then there's mercy.

William Howell's picture

Absolutely, corruption is also part of the make-up of India. I love the Indian people, but there are things that need improvement.

Dan Ostergren's picture

The poor thing. Absolutely awful.

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