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Tiger Zhou

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周老虎 (Zhōu Lǎohǔ): Tiger Zhou

Zhou's "photo."

Nickname for Zhou Zhenglong, who created phony photographs of the endangered South China tiger. In 2007, Zhou claimed that he risked his life to take more than 30 digital photos of a tiger. The Shaanxi Provincial Forestry Bureau then held a press conference, supporting Zhou’s claim. Zhou was awarded RMB20,000 for his photographs.

However, people noticed that the tiger photographs bore a close resemblance to a tiger poster published in 2002. In 2008, authorities affirmed netizens' suspicion that the pictures were forged. Zhou was convicted for fraud but did not spend time in prison. Because Zhou lacked the computer skills necessary to create the photographs, some believe in a conspiracy in which Zhou was fed the pictures by the local government eager to bolster tourism and secure tiger habitat preservation funds. A man named Guan Ke who worked in the local forestry bureau has been accused by those within his department of creating the images; however, Mr. Guan denies these charges.