niche drama

Wildlife Photographer of the Year Disqualified After Judges Conclude He Used a Stuffed Animal

The photograph in question.
The photograph in question. Photo: Marcio Cabral/Natural History Museum

This story has it all: prestigious photography, a wholly unnecessary scam that falls apart at the slightest examination, a taxidermied anteater, and the ability to appeal to your unquenchable thirst for drama, no matter how niche it is.

The Guardian reports that the winner of the Natural History Museum in London’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year award had his prize revoked after the judges came to the conclusion that he actually used a stuffed animal.

The photograph in question, above, was taken by Brazilian wildlife photographer Marcio Cabral and features an anteater feasting on a termite mound at night. [Keith Morrison voice] Or does it?

Per The Guardian:

After a “thorough investigation” involving two mammal experts and a taxidermy specialist from the museum, in addition to two South American experts, it was concluded that the photograph features the dead anteater that greets visitors at the entrance to Brazil’s Emas National Park.

Behold, the taxidermied anteater, which does look suspiciously like the one from the final photo:

The stuffed anteater, in daylight.
The stuffed anteater, in daylight. Photo: Natural History Museum

Cabral continues to claim that his image was authentic, though the judges are wholly unconvinced. If only taxidermied anteaters could talk…

Wildlife Photo of the Year Disqualified for Stuffed Animal