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 Sanctuaryasia.com, 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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58 Comments

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.

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.

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.

Michael Holst's picture

Sounds like the United States ;)

Michael Holst's picture

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

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?

Michael Holst's picture

Maybe you should read mor carefully.

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.

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.

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.

Michael Holst's picture

Powerful image. I find it hard not to feel angry when I see it. Elephants are smart and I wonder if these clashes only add to why elephants are attacking people. They're defending themselves.

The habitat of elephants (and many other animals) is being encroached upon, their regular food/fodder is becoming scarce and it is only natural that they then get into villages in search of food. It is sad to see the increasing conflict between man and beast and the resultant destruction of wildlife.

Anonymous's picture

How would you solve overpopulation? I can imagine telling someone, "I know you're poor, hungry and can't read but you're going to have to stop f*****g too." :-/

William Howell's picture

Another good one!

Anonymous's picture

I read the comments to my dog and he tells me how to reply. :-)

Anonymous's picture

It is simply inaccurate to state that climate change proponents avoid the issue of overpopulation and it's possible effects on the environment. The UN, the Sierra Club, The Worldwatch Institute, Postcarbon, and at least dozens of medical and scientific journal articles and reports have all discussed the possibility of population growth as a significant variable of climate change. Their statements have been reported in major national and international news agencies for years.

These aren't "exceptions" I needed to "dig up". For anyone willing to listen, these facts are easily found. That "climate change proponents never address that core problem" and "there is deafening silence" on the issue is false.

Anonymous's picture

From your earlier posts:

"climate change proponents never address that core problem [of overpopulation]"

"The most important factor, overpopulation, is clearly avoided."

These are objectively false statements, easily disproven.

Anonymous's picture

It's illogical to address any subsequent lines of thought that are based on objectionably false original statements. I'm dealing in fact and accuracy here.

And resorting to ad hominem attacks by calling me cynical and obsessed? Focus on the message, not the messenger.

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