More photographers are 'baiting' animals in order to take the perfect photo, says experts

National Post | 5/18/2018 | Staff
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MONTREAL — While some wildlife photographers dream of that perfect shot of a majestic moose or a swooping snowy owl, some observers say more and more people are stooping to unethical practices to get a great photo.

Parks Ontario ecologist David Legros says there has been a spike in the number of people trampling through sensitive habitat, blocking roads, laying down food or chasing wild animals in the quest for a photo — and he believes social media platforms such as Instagram are partly to blame.

Lot - Increases - Accessibility - Photography - Media

“I think a lot of it is driven by increases in the accessibility of digital photography, and social media, because everyone is showing their pictures and everyone else wants to get great pictures too,” Legros said in a phone interview.

In a blog post published in April, Parks Ontario highlighted some instances of recent bad behaviour, including chasing moose, cutting down tree branches for a better view or smearing peanut butter on trees to attract pine martens.

Problem - Legros - Animals - Food - Photo

The most common problem, Legros said, is “baiting” animals with food, which makes it easier to get a photo but can cause them to become aggressive toward humans or spend more time around roads where they’re more likely to be struck and killed.

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Guests - Minority - People - Respect

He added that bad guests are in the minority and most people behave with respect.

The issue also crops up among professional wildlife photographers, where the pressure to get great images can be intense.

April - London - Natural - History - Museum

In April, London’s Natural History Museum disqualified one of the winning entries in its Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest after concluding it was “highly likely” the anteater in the shot was a taxidermy specimen.

The museum said in a press release that five independent scientists all reached the same conclusion, which photographer Marcio Cabral strongly denied.

Geographic - Aware - Problem

Canadian Geographic says it is “very much aware” of the problem,...
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