PetaPixel

Photographer Stripped of Prestigious Wildlife Award for Cheating

About a month ago we reported that José Luis Rodriguez had come under fire after winning the prestigious Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year award. The winning photograph depicted a rare, Iberian wolf hopping a fence to reach food placed outside by the photographer, but rival photographers soon began to question whether the wolf was indeed a wild wolf.

After a month of investigation, Rodriguez has been stripped of the prestigious award and banned for life, in what some are now calling “the biggest scandal to ever hit the world of wildlife photography”. The winning image was selected from among 43,135 submitted from 94 countries.

A statement on the competition’s website states,

The judging panel looked at a range of evidence and took specialist advice from panel judges who have extensive experience of photographing wildlife including wolves. They also considered the responses to specific questions put to the photographer José Luis Rodriguez.

However, Rodriguez continues to deny that the wolf was a captive wolf.

(via Amateur Photographer)


 
 
  • http://twitter.com/olegskl Oleg Sklyanchuk

    1. There's no solid proof of the wolf being not wild.
    2. First place taken from the winner, but not re-awarded at all!
    3. Veolia is making £9,500 on that. PROFIT!

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  • http://twitter.com/olegskl Oleg Sklyanchuk

    1. There's no solid proof of the wolf being not wild.
    2. First place taken from the winner, but not re-awarded at all!
    3. Veolia is making £9,500 on that. PROFIT!

  • http://www.petapixel.com Michael Zhang

    Hi Oleg,

    I definitely agree that the award should be given to another entry. Not sure if they're planning to do so…

    Regarding the “proof”, I'm not sure what you would consider enough evidence. Here's a quote from one of the articles linked in this post:

    “It turns out that the wolf is probably a well-known individual called Ossian from a zoo called Canada Real near Madrid. The facial markings are identical except for a small discrepancy with one ear that could have been attributed to a later fight.

    The most compelling evidence, though, comes from the wall and gate over which the wolf is jumping. An identical wall, and more tellingly the strangely shaped tree, can be found in the grounds of the Canada Real zoo where the wolf called Ossian lives.

    The photographic evidence seems irrefutable and I find it incredibly arrogant (or naive) that the photographer would not expect everyone to scrutinise such an incredible image. In short it appears to be a trained wolf jumping over a gate in its enclosure!”

  • http://www.kimberlygauthier.com/ Kimberly

    It always amazes me when people think they can get away with dishonesty. It's an amazing photograph. I guess I should stop calling the photos I took at the Olympic Game Farm (Sequim, WA) “wildlife photography.”

  • http://twitter.com/olegskl Oleg Sklyanchuk

    Indeed, after taking a careful look at location comparison pictures I have to admit that I was too quick to jump to conclusions.

  • linquen

    i belive him. if he had something to cover himself with and layd somthing there a wild wolfe could come there let's say it was some meet then the wolfe would be interested and everyone should know any wolfe can jump that hige so i'd say it's not fake

  • http://www.game-farm-for-sale.co.za/ Robert

    Fantastic shot regardless. A pity if it has been staged however.

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  • AnestheticSynthetic

    That's another thing – a wild wolf would rather crawl under the gate than jump over it.

  • http://twitter.com/jomind Giorgio Fonda

    “The winning image was selected from among 43,135 submitted from 94 countries.” And the jury have choosen as a winner the only one staged. This is the bit that make me think over all.

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