An Indian photography competition has shown human treatment at its worst, with its winning photo depicting two elephants fleeing a mob that set them on fire.

Biplab Hazra's photo won the Sanctuary Wildlife Photography Awards, a competition held each year by environmental news magazine Sanctuary Asia.

The photograph, titled 'Hell is Here', shows a mother and baby elephant running for their lives in the Bangura district of West Bengal, after a 'crowd of jeering men thew flaming tar balls and crackers' at them.

Announcing the award, Sanctuary Asia said: "India is the world's stronghold for the Asian elephant, home to over 70 per cent 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.

"For these smart, gentle, social animals who have roamed the sub-continent for centuries, hell is now and here."

Sanctuary Asia's competition attracted over 5,000 entries from across Asia, with eight winners announced at a ceremony in Mumbai last Sunday night.

Credit: Abhishek Satam/Sanctuary Wildlife Photography Awards

Credit: Milinda Wattegedara/Sanctuary Wildlife Photography Awards

Credit: Mahadev Suresh Bhise/Sanctuary Wildlife Photography Awards

Credit: Anand Bora/Sanctuary Wildlife Photography Awards

But the images weren't all doom and gloom, as many of the photos celebrated the beauty of nature and the compassion humans can show towards animals.

Other winning entries included starfish and sea shells creating a 'work of art' on a beach in West India, and an inspirational photo of people working together to rescue a leopard that fell into a well.

The natural world really is amazing, isn't it?

Featured Image Credit: BIPLAB HAZRA/SANCTUARY WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS

Chris Ogden

Chris Ogden is a journalist at LADbible. He graduated from the University of East Anglia with degrees in English Literature and Creative Writing before completing his NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism. Chris has previously written for the independent culture magazine The Skinny, among other publications.

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