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Picture of elephants 'humiliated' by fire in West Bengal receives top award

08 November 2017

A shocking picture showing two elephants running for their lives after being set on fire has won a wildlife photography competition.

Mr Hazra said the calf screamed in "confusion" as it fled the "crowd of jeering men" who were flinging "flaming tar balls and crackers" at the two elephants.

"The heat from the fire scorches their delicate skin as mother and child attempt to flee the mob", they read.

Kolkata: A brutal picture of an elephant calf humiliated by fire in West Bengal has bagged the Sanctuary Wildlife Photography Awards of the year on Wednesday.

The awards are instituted by the Sanctuary Nature Foundation, a Mumbai based non-governmental organisation (NGO) that works towards biodiversity conservation and community engagement.

"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", the description said.

It is not known what became of the two elephants in the award-winning picture.

Announcing the award for the photo, taken in West Bengal, which has often been in the news for human deaths caused by encounters with elephants, Sanctuary magazine said "this sort of humiliation.is routine".

India is home to 30,000 Asian elephants and boasts over 70% of the global population of the species.

But, as the Foundation added, vital elephant habitats and routes continue to be ravaged, and human-elephant conflict escalates to a fatal degree.

Picture of elephants 'humiliated' by fire in West Bengal receives top award