Fake tiger, real news?

Tiger tiger burning bright, in the Photoshopped forests of Xinhua's night
The state-owned news and propaganda agency Xinhua has been responsible for some of the funniest stuff on the Chinese Internet, from its laddish Skinhua phase of 2005 to its recent use of an image of Homer Simpson to illustrate a story about multiple sclerosis.

So when they reported last week that a peasant in Shaanxi had seen a South China Tiger, long since thought be extinct in the wild, and published a photo allegedly taken by the peasant, it was natural to assume that this photo was the work of Xinhua's Photoshop department. It looks pretty fake, no?

But if there is trickery afoot, it seems to be the work of the peasant, or of the Shaanxi Forestry Department. The China Daily ran this English language Xinhua report yesterday:

A newly-released photo, which Chinese forestry authorities say proves the continuing existence of wild South China tigers which have been thought to be extinct, has sparked heated controversy from Internet citizens, questioning its authenticity.

The digital picture, purporting to be a wild South China tiger crouching in the midst of green bushes, was released by the Forestry Department of northwest China's Shaanxi Province at a news conference on October 12.

Zhou Zhenglong, 52, a farmer and former hunter in Chengguan Township of Shaanxi's Zhenping County, photographed the tiger with a digital camera and on film on the afternoon of October 3, a department spokesman said.

Experts had confirmed the 40 digital pictures and 31 film photographs are genuine, the spokesman told reporters.

But dozens of netizens expressed doubts about the authenticity of the digital picture -- the only one of the 71 taken to be released at the news conference -- after it had been posted on the Internet, especially in on-line forums discussing Photoshop (PS) technologies.

Thanks to Steven Schwankert for the links

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There are currently 9 Comments for Fake tiger, real news?.

Comments on Fake tiger, real news?

Ah! An overly elaborate explanation involving farmers who carry not one but two cameras! That certainly assuages all of my doubts.

From this point onwards, I shall assume that all those who continue to point out details like the direction of all the shadows except those falling on the tiger are evil splittists.

I was recently in a national park in Sumatra where there are still wild tigers. Essentially the only way to photograph them is to set "camera traps", which are remote cameras placed on known game trails and triggered by infrared when a tiger passes in front of them. The success rate for this is microscopic. It is, for all intents and purposes, impossible to stalk, find and photograph a tiger there. They are apparently incredibly shy and can sense people coming for miles.

But, you know, this could be superpeasant. Who knows?

Oh dear, that is dumb.

why that farmer carried two cameras,is he a photographer as well? :)

that's ridiculous, I dont believe anything like that. obviously, the farmer faked the picture. I am Chinese, shame on us.

it has proved to be fake!

Most people believe that is a fake flat tiger with a size not much bigger than a cat.
but the mass voice was neglected

it is absurd
he claimed has taken 71 pictures of this tiger in 20 minutes with a same gesture on that afternoon. about 10 pictures are published now(all in a precisely same gesture, the tiger posed for pictures???)
the tiger color is differ from the surroundings.
differnt distance (5--20meters)with same tiger gusture
The peasant stalk and search,pictured it alone for about 20 minutes
the pictures are fake, most chinese people like me, believe it is a paper tiger with a size no bigger than a cat(according to the height and size of the trees and leave beside the tiger paper)
We wish a fair and independent investigation, but the mass voice was neglected.
Why not investigate???

The Chinese netizens around has found a kinds of very similar printed poster(printed about in 2001) with the same tiger (spots and stripes). The posters has been found in several province around the whole country and probably the superpeasant himself occasionally bought one at that time.

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