A man has been arrested in China in connection with a set of fake photographs supposedly proving the existence of a highly endangered tiger.
Zhou Zhenglong, a local farmer from Zhenping county, was paid around £1,500 as a reward when he submitted the photographs to officials at the forestry department in northern Shaanxi. The images were then published as proof of the existence of the South China tiger.
When the photographs were released back on October 12, 2007, questions were sparked about their authenticity, but, after some examination were confirmed to be genuine by experts.
It has now been admitted by government officials at the forestry bureau that the photos were in fact fakes and thirteen members of staff there have now been sacked. The photographer himself has also been arrested on suspicion of fraud after police found a photograph of the tiger borrowed from a farmer in another village. It is thought that he had merged the photographs together by pasting the image of the tiger onto a forest setting background.