Image: Wolf photo
Jose Luis Rodriguez
Spanish photographer Jose Luis Rodriguez says his photo shows a wild Iberian wolf. But organizers of a wildlife photography competition in which the image was entered say the animal was trained.
updated 1/21/2010 3:03:18 PM ET 2010-01-21T20:03:18

Organizers of a wildlife photography competition have disqualified the winning image of a leaping wolf after an investigation determined the animal was trained, not wild.

Judges for the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition had praised Spanish photographer Jose Luis Rodriguez's image featuring an Iberian wolf for its "fairy tale" quality but later became suspicious about its authenticity.

Competition spokeswoman Louise Emerson said Wednesday that judges had investigated and decided that the wolf is probably "an animal model that can be hired for photographic purposes."

The competition's rules said the use of captive animals must be declared. Rodriguez was stripped of the award.

Emerson says Rodriguez denies using a model wolf.

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