Dear Wetpixel community,
National Geographic has decided to feature Michael B. Hardie's image of a day octopus (Octopus cyanea) apparently “hitching a ride” on a Hawaiian green turtle (Chelonia mydas) on its Facebook page.
NG_2017-11-21_11-23-00_am.jpg 77.34KB 4 downloads
This image was captured by the photographer by removing the animal from the reef, taking it up into midwater in order to take pictures of it in the water column. It was then released and in its stressed state, blundered into the turtle, which resulted in this image.
Here is the photographer's own account of how the image was captured:
Instagram 2017-05-07 at 7-29-44.jpg 480.76KB 4 downloads
Thus this image does not in any way depict natural behaviour, and shows the results of actual abuse of the animal.
If you look at the bulk of the interactions with the post on the NG page, people assume that it is naturally occurring . Surely NG should be responsible enough to ensure that the images they use to promote their Natural Photography contests should actually be natural?
Please can I ask that the Wetpixel community take the time to add a post or comment on NG's page saying that this is unacceptable please? For those that have contacts with NG, perhaps send an email?