Photographer Loses Award Over Bizarre Allegation

Marcio Cabral accused of putting a stuffed anteater into his wildlife image
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 27, 2018 12:04 PM CDT
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This is a real anteater.   (Getty Images/Turau)

(Newser) – It's that moment every wildlife photographer hopes for: an image in which the resident fauna wanders perfectly into frame. And that supposedly happened to such great effect for Marcio Cabral in Brazil's Emas National Park that his photo "The Night Raider," which depicts an anteater staring down a glowing termite mound, took first place in the "Animals in Their Environment" category of the London Natural History Museum's photo competition—a contest the Guardian says "for the wildlife world … is their Oscars." But as BuzzFeed reports, that anteater likely didn't just "amble" into the shot after all, as Cabral claimed: The photographer has been disqualified for his win after allegations that he placed a stuffed anteater into the photo (see the image up close for yourself here).

After an "anonymous source" came forward, five specialists were brought in to independently compare the anteater in Cabral's pic to a taxidermied anteater at the park's entrance. Their findings: "There are elements 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." Cabral continues to insist it was a live anteater he captured, and he even claims to have a witness who saw it. Organizers aren't budging—no one will take Cabral's spot in the winner's circle, contest organizers say, and he's barred from taking part in the competition again. "I find it disheartening and surprising that a photographer would go to such lengths to deceive the competition and its worldwide following," the head of the contest's jury says. (Two hunters in Brazil were killed by giant anteaters.)

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