AN award-winning Spanish photo, which scooped first prize in the UK’s prestigious Veolia competition could be a fake.
Called Storybook Wolf, it is said to have broken rules by using a tame, rather than wild wolf.
Photographer Jose Luis Rodriguez gave the impression he had discovered a farmer who was willing to allow a wild wolf on his land and then left meat by the fence to tempt one of the elusive creatures onto his property.
“We are investigating this thoroughly.”
The rules of the competition state that images of captive animals must be declared and that judges will give preference to images taken in “free and wild conditions”.
Now London’s Natural History Museum is investigating claims that the wolf is actually one from a zoo near Madrid.
A spokesman said: “We are investigating this thoroughly.”
Rodriguez, who won the £10,000 first prize, strongly denies any wrongdoing or breach of the competition rules.
Suspicions were raised when experts said that a wild wolf would squeeze through the bars rather than jump over.
Rodriguez had told judges it took a long time to find the location, let alone a wolf that would jump over the gate.
If found to have manufactured the photo Rodriguez would be stripped of the prize.