Seems like everything needs an update these days. When I published our earlier item about José Luis Rodriguez' leaping wolf picture winning the world's largest nature photography competition, I didn't expect it would become controversial—I'm just mindful that some readers like wildlife photography, and I want this site to serve people of a variety of interests and tastes rather than just people whose interests and tastes are identical to mine. However, I regret to report that there are now allegations—as yet unproved—that the picture might be fraudulent. Not the photograph itself, but how it was represented.
According to an article in Suomen Luonto (Nature of Finland) magazine, the picture, which was represented to be of a wild wolf, might in fact be a picture of a tame captive wolf named Ossian. In any case, the evidence is pretty convincing that the picture was taken not in open conditions but at the Cañada Real Center Zoological Park near Madrid.
Why is the representation relevant? Because the BBC contest's rules state that "Images of captive animals must be declared. The judges will take preference to images taken in free and wild conditions." Apparently the picture was submitted as being of a wild wolf. (The panel of judges has issued no formal statement as of yet.)
The evidence as it stands thus far was apparently collected by several other Spanish nature photographers, who are concerned about the reputation of Spanish photography. "There are many of us who have strong ethics," said one.
As I often say, pictures are statements, and their truth depends in large part on the honesty of the photographer, in the same way a statement in a magazine, newspaper, or book depends on the integrity of the reporter or author. I hope, if these questions turn out to be valid, that this was just an honest mistake on the part of José Luis, and that the situation will soon be put right.
(Thanks to Thiago Silva)