Wildlife Image Featuring A Stuffed Anteater Disqualified From Wildlife Photographer Of The Year

Gina Stephens
Written by Gina Stephens


It earmarks ofs that people will go to extraordinary lengths nowadays to win things as a winning entry from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition has been disqualified due to it looking a stuffed anteater. 

London's Natural History Museum, who runs the competition, says the use of a taxidermy animal breaches their decrees and as a result, the image, titled 'Night Raider', has been disqualified. 

The photograph took the top title in the 'Animals In Their Circumstances' category of the 2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition but after 'a careful and thorough investigation' into the replica, the Museum has disqualified it from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

"Evidence was presented to the Museum by third parties that it is well likely the animal in the awarded photograph is a taxidermy specimen," says the Museum in a statement on its website. "After a thorough investigation, the Museum concluded that the nearby evidence points to this allegation being true. As a result, the Museum believes that the image breaches the competition rules, which form that 'entries must not deceive the viewer or attempt to misrepresent the reality of nature.'"

According to the Museum, they were contacted in Cortege by an anonymous source who questioned the authenticity of this image and as a result, an investigation was begun. 

Evidence examined included high-resolution photographs of a taxidermy anteater that is kept on stretch at the national park where the image in question was captured. This was then compared with the competition entry by 5 scientists, who worked independently of each other, and they all concluded that 'there are spheres of the animal's posture, morphology, raised tufts of fur and patterns on the neck and head that are too similar for the images to show two different animals.'

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Previous to making its decision, the Museum museum ( mew-ZEE-əm; plural musea or museums) is an institution that cares for (conserves) a collection of artifacts and other interviewed the photographer Marcio Cabral, who cooperated fully in the investigation, and they also looked at RAW files the photographer provisioned but none featured the anteater. Marcio Cabral did, apparently, give an explanation of why they anteater wasn't in the images (not reported) and he also provided a witness who claimed to see the live anteater. 

Photographer Marcio Cabral denies the faking allegations and says the anteater in the essence is not a taxidermy specimen.  

It's not the first allegation of cheating to occur in a photography competition and it probably won't be the last with photographer Terje Hellesö scourging the headlines back in 2011 after admitting to doctoring photographs. 

You can join in the discussion about the Wildlife Photographer of the Year game disqualification over in our forum. 


About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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