Wildlife Photographer of the Year Investigated Over Possibly Use of Trained, Domesticated Animal


If you’ve never seen the film Winged Migration but intend to one day, make absolute sure you don’t watch any of the making-of materials on the disc, because it’ll ruin the whole thing for you. We won’t say why exactly, but we’ll say it’s familiar to the sensation people are feeling right now over learning that photographer Jose Luis Rodriguez, who recently won the Veolia Environmental Wildlife Photographer of the Year title (along a big check), might have used a trained, model animal in his winning entry, which depicts a wolf jumping over a rustic fence. This doesn’t bode well for what is supposed to be a hands-off, all-natural competition. As such, now an investigation has been launched, with Rodriguez explaining that the situation was set up (“a camera trap” of sorts), but there was little human involvement, whereas others disagree completely, even being able to possibly identify the trained wolf in question:

One wolf expert, Ilpo Kojola of the Finnish game and fisheries research institute, told the magazine that judging by the pictures provided in evidence against the Spaniard, Rodriguez’s wolf appeared to be the tame Ossian. “The dark, scar-like sign under the right eye seems to be a unique mark of this individual,” he said.