In the Indian region of West Bengal there has been a bloody war between people and elephants for years.
Photos of an elephant mom and her baby dropped by people with fireballs are currently going around the world showing in a frightening way how strong the struggle for survival is there.
The people are poor farmers who try to protect their harvest from the insatiable appetite of the elephants. Although they live in the woods, they had to change their eating habits and thus came to the farmers’ harvest.
A photographer named Biplab Hazda then decided to show the world with his photos how the elephants threatened with extinction in India are fighting for their lives.
“Hell is there: the heat of the torches on his tender skin, while mother and son try to escape the angry crowd. The mother’s ears point forward as she stoically ignores the screaming men. Behind her, her baby screams confused and anxious as the fire on her feet searches her way.
Fireballs and crunching roam the air between laughter and screaming. In the Bankura district in the west of Bentala, this kind of pachyderm humiliation is routine as in other states with elephants like Assam, Odisha, Shhattisgarth, Tamil Nadu and many more.”
This was written by Biplab Hazda under a photo he took on the page of Sanctuaire Asie published. The 40-year-old Indian photographer began portraying the drama in which elephants live every day in India a few years ago. And the pictures he publishes cause a cold shiver on his back when he looks at them.
The increasing deforestation in India has not left the animals much habitat, which means that more and more conflicts with humans occur.
The pictures show the violence these giant pachyderms are exposed to in agricultural areas, although they are only trying to cope with the new conditions in their habitat.
Elephant herds damage the harvest considerably, which had a lasting effect on the lives of the simple population. For this reason, many farmers decided to scare elephants from the inhabited, wrote Le nouvel Indian Express.
“This happens because the villagers have to save their crops,” Hazra told the Caters News Agency. “There are many herds of elephants in the human population. I am trying to show this and spread my photos in order to make the public aware of this problem.”
Elephants must eat about 19 hours a day and produce about 100 kg of excrement a day. These faeces are used as seeds and to preserve the forests. Therefore, its destruction affects not only the future of this species in India, but also that of its forests.
Indian elephants are among the endangered species in a critical state. The population has decreased by 50% since the 1940s.
The photo of the elephant mother running away with her baby won the nature photo competition of the nature conservation magazine Sanctuary Asia. And according to the photographer, the two elephants in the photo survived despite the burns.
One must sharpen the awareness for the future of these animals.
Animals have the same right to enjoy this planet as humans, but it must be possible for both to survive in harmony so that poverty can be combated at the same time.
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