Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition

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Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition

Post by falkor » Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:57 pm

Vicky Shaw, Press Association

Wednesday, 20 January 2010
A stunning image capturing a wolf leaping over a gate has been stripped of first place in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition after judges found the animal was likely to be a "model".
Image
The winning entry, by photographer Jose Luis Rodriguez, beat thousands of entries to scoop the prize in October last year, receiving praise for its "fairytale" quality.

But an investigation was launched after suspicions were raised that the picture might breach competition rules.

Rule 10 says that photographs of animal models may not be entered into the competition and that images will be disqualified if they are entered in breach.

A statement from competition organisers said Mr Rodriguez strongly denies that the wolf is a model.

Owned by the Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine, the long-running contest is billed as an international showcase for the best nature photography.

Louise Emerson, from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition office, said today: "It saddens us to confirm that after a careful and thorough investigation into the image, the storybook wolf, the co-owners of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, the Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine have disqualified the winning entry of the photographer Jose Luis Rodriguez.

"The judging panel was reconvened and concluded that it was likely that the wolf featured in the image was an animal model that can be hired for photographic purposes and, as a result, that the image had been entered in breach of Rule 10 of the Competition.

"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.

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