Wildlife photographer of the year winner disqualified20/01/2010 11:01:48
Storybook wolf just a bit too much of a story
In response to a lot of disquiet about the winning image of the 2009 Wildlife Photographer of the Year, The judging panel was reconvened; they 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.
Many independent observers thought the shot just too perfect, implying that it had been staged, and even that the wolf was not a wild animal.
No new winner to be chosen
Louise Emerson, from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition office, said: "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 José Luis Rodríguez. 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."
Mr Rodriguez strongly denies that the wolf in the image is a model wolf.