Leopard and impala in a tree: One of the most awkward fakes I have seen.

natgeo-leopard1

For many of us National Geographic was always a canon of authentic and high-quality wildlife and nature photography. Therefore I simply cannot believe that this picture was a planned fake. However, many viewers seem to have perceived it as an original shot, in the wild, and I noticed intensive discussions on Facebook where people were arguing that it is a wild leopard with a prey, despite so many obvious discrepancies – in lighting, composition, focus… So this publication by the Dutch edition of NatGeo Junior effectively became a fake although it might not be the intention of the editors.

Here is it:

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Source: National Geographic Junior Netherlands - http://www.natgeojunior.nl/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Spread-Hotspot.jpg

An even more embarrassing fact is that neither of the animals in the picture are alive – contrary to the caption in the NatGeo publication which telling that only the “springbok” is dead. Both animals are in fact stuffed and shown in Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. On the photo in this trip advertising even the perspective is almost the same:

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Source: TripAdvisor - media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/05/de/90/71/smithsonian-national.jpg

(By the way, “springbok”: The prey showed in this taxidermy is an impala. Another shameful error of the famous nature exploration magazine.)

And here we find the original photo – on Shutterstock! An incredible awkwardness for National Geographic! Royalty-free stock photo ID: 764999929…

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Source: Shutterstock - http://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/leopard-panthera-pardus-his-prey-antelope-764999929

The full title of this “masterpiece” is: “Leopard (Panthera pardus) with his prey antelope on a tree in Serengeti National Park on night sky background with the moon. Africa”. Now I am getting really sarcastic, so please forgive me… Despite the absolutely awful Photoshop skills, the author deserves my compliments – for having revealed the weakness of National Geographic editing workflow. Well done, Artem Avetisyan! Bravo!

Here are two more photos by the Master – just in case National Geographic would need a picture of giraffe (flying over European meadow with African landscape at the horizon) and of a “banteng” (in fact, an Ugandan Ancole bull – hovering over a way in European beech forest):

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(Are the other wildlife photographs that National Geographic publishes still true?)