A harrowing picture of a baby Asian elephant on fire has won the top prize in The Sanctuary Wildlife Photography Awards 2017.
The image, entitled ‘Hell is Here,’ was taken by Biplab Hazra and shows an elephant mother and calf fleeing from a mob in the Bankura district of West Bengal.
The Sanctuary Wildlife Photography Awards was created to highlight wildlife conservation with evocative photography.
Hara said of the image: “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 and Tamil Nadu, among others.
“India is the world’s stronghold for the Asian elephant, home to over 70% 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.”
Hazra beat 5,000 other entries across Asia to win the prize, which is the highest the awards have ever received.
Sanctuary’s Young Photographer of the Year 2017 was awarded to Vishruth Cavale for their image of a shark ray in a plastic crate
The shark ray will be sold with its meat dried, salted and consumed locally, while its fins may find their way to other countries to be cooked into a soup.
Other winners include Abhishek Nandkishor Neelam Satam in the Art in Nature category for his photograph of a starfish collaborating with pea crabs and Anand Bora, who won in the Conservation Photography category for his image of a leopard that fell into a well.