Gone wild with photography


The judges of the award, which attracted more than 43,000 entries from 94 countries, said they were convinced José Luis Rodriguez hired the wolf called Ossian from a Madrid wildlife park, contradicting his claim the image was taken in the wild after months of patient tracking of the dwindling species.

Competition rules prohibit the use of animal models and the organisers took down Rodriguez’s image from the exhibition at the museum in London, banned him from entering the contest again and announced they were “saddened” by the disqualification. Apparently without irony, he had titled his image ‘The Storybook Wolf’, but headline writers have since dubbed it the “loan wolf.”

Rodriguez could not be contacted, but the competition organisers said he continued to strongly deny the wolf was tame. “I remember thinking, my God, this really is a wild wolf, what an achievement,” said Mark Carwardine, chairman of the judging panel. “I don’t understand the mentality at all. People feel very disappointed with the photographer.”
The organisers said they were planning to erect a notice at the Natural History Museum explaining to visitors their belief that the photo was staged.

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