WPOTY disqualifies winning image
AFTER a three-week investigation carried out by the Natural History Museum, one of the winning images from 2017’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year has been disqualified.
The image, ‘ The Night Raider’, from the Animals in Their Environment category, was taken by Marcio Cabral at the Emas National Park in Brazil.
Evidence was presented to the museum by third parties that it is highly likely the animal in the photo is a taxidermy specimen. The investigation called on five scientists – two experts on mammals and a taxidermy specialist from the museum itself along with two external authorities, a South American mammals expert and a specialist anteater researcher.
The team examined high-resolution images of a taxidermy anteater that is kept at a visitor centre located at an entrance to the park.
Each of the five scientists worked independently of each other, but all came to the same conclusion – that the overall posture, morphology, the position of raised tufts of fur and the patterning on the neck and top of the head are too similar to depict two different animals. The experts would have expected there to be at least some variation between two individuals of the same species.
The photographer strongly denies the allegations. Marcio Cabral co- operated fully with the investigation, supplying raw format images, including those taken before and after the winning image.
The image will be removed from the exhibition and the tour. According to the BBC, Cabral intends to return to the park to collect evidence, which he hopes will exonerate him.
The image that has been disqualified from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest