Meerkat Photo Fraud

Keith Harris, head warden at Longleat Safari Park, told the UK’s Amateur Photography magazine, which spotted the incongruity: Looks like Cyrus the dog still holds the title of best furry photographer.—Kathleen DavisAssistant Editor

Last month a dog photographer made us lift our two-month cat photo ban. So last week when we heard about meerkats at Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire, England, using a SLR "accidentally" left behind by a zoo photographer, we were almost convinced that the entire animal kingdom was reading Pop Photo.

Almost. The story was cute, but it didn’t take long for photographers to realize it was a hoax. For starters, the photographer reportedly returned to find the shots the meerkat had taken on the camera’s SD card, but the camera in question was a Canon EOS 650—a film-only camera. The photos were also allegedly a surprise find that were taken when no one was around, meaning that the photo (above) that accompanied the story, had to have been staged.

Keith Harris, head warden at Longleat Safari Park, told the UK's Amateur Photography magazine, which spotted the incongruity: "It started off as a joke. It was a slight hoax. The meerkats didn't take any pictures at all."
Looks like Cyrus the dog still holds the title of best furry photographer.
—Kathleen Davis
Assistant Editor