Winning Wildlife Photo Disqualified From Contest

Oh….this is not how to do photo contests!

Back in October, we reported on the winning entries to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest. You can take a look at the write up and raft of amazing imagery here, but one of the winning images has hit the headlines again this week….this time for all the wrong reasons.

Following an investigation by the Natural History Museum (who are responsible for the contest), it was determined that the photographer, Marcio Cabral, used a stuffed anteater instead of a live subject! This is not allowed under the contest rules and therefore the image – entitled ‘The Night Raider’ – has been disqualified.

Cabral’s image has been disqualified. Image by Marcio Cabral/Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

The image, which showed the anteater at the base of a termite mound in a Brazilian nature area, was defended by Cabral, who told the BBC; “Unfortunately, I do not have another image of the animal because it is a long exposure of 30 seconds and ISO 5000. After the flashes were fired, the animal left the place, so it was not possible to make another photo with the animal coming out of the place that is totally dark.”

Contest staff say Cabral did cooperate fully with the investigation, including submitted RAW files for inspection. Contest rules are clear and state that; “entries must not deceive the viewer or attempt to misrepresent the reality of nature.” Roz Kidman Cox, a longtime judge for the contest told the BBC; “I find it disheartening and surprising that a photographer would go to such lengths to deceive the competition and its worldwide following.”

Cabral’s image isn’t the first from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest to fall foul of the rules. Back in 2009, a shot of an Iberian wolf was disqualified after it emerged the wild animal was actually a trained wolf.