Wildlife Photographer of the Year image disqualified

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  • Posted 3 weeks Ago

After much debate and speculation, a winning contestant of the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year award has been disqualified after the anteater in his photograph was judged to "highly likely" be a taxidermy specimen.

The photograph in question was taken by Marcio Cabral and shows an anteater on a glowing termite mound in the dead of the night, with stars glistening above. Cabral won the "Animals in their Environment" category for the image, but its validity was later called into question when the Natural History Museum was contacted by an anonymous source. Evidence was submitted supporting the claim, including high resolution photos of a taxidermy anteater at Portão do Bandeira gate, near where the winning photo was taken. Mr Cabral strongly denies that the anteater in the image is a taxidermy specimen.

Anteater specimen, provided by an an anonymous third party. Image courtesy of The Natural History Museum

"After a thorough investigation, the museum concluded that the available evidence points to this allegation being true," said the Natural History Museum in a statement. "As a result, the museum believes that the image breaches the competition rules, which state that ‘entries must not deceive the viewer or attempt to misrepresent the reality of nature."

The photograph has now been removed from the museum's exhibition, website, and world tour and Cabral will not be able to enter the competition again.

"I find it disheartening and surprising that a photographer would go to such lengths to deceive the competition and its worldwide following," said Roz Kidman Cox, a member of the 2017 judging panel. "The competition places great store on honesty and integrity, and such a breach of the rules is disrespectful to the wildlife-photography community, which is at the heart of the competition. This disqualification should remind entrants that any transgression of the rules and spirit of the competition will eventually be found out."

You can look at the photo above and the evidence below.

Top image: Marcio Cabral, courtesy of The Natural History Museum