Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Photo of 'extinct' tiger sparks controversy

Posted By T. Michael Testi

Photo of 'extinct' tiger sparks controversy

Updated: 2007-10-18 19:32

XI'AN -- 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.

Netizens suspected that the picture had been processed with PS technologies before release, citing the irregular effects of illumination and focus, and the unreal fur colour of the tiger. Read It All...


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