OIL giant BP has been accused of manipulating an image of a Gulf of Mexico pelican to show the bird giving the ‘thumbs-up’.
The image accompanied a press release earlier this month from BP, headlined ‘We’re having the time of our lives, say Louisiana pelicans’.
But close examination of the image has revealed that it may have been a sophisticated attempt by the company to give the impression that pelicans love being covered in oil.
The press release stated: “While BP is doing everything it can to deal with the environmental incident in the Gulf of Mexico, the local pelicans are in no hurry to see things get back to normal!
“And while pelicans cannot speak English – not yet anyway! – they have made their feelings known by giving an enthusiastic ‘thumbs up’ to our photographer before licking more high-grade oil off their deliciously greasy plumage.”
The release continued: “‘According to Nathan Muir, BP’s senior vice-president in charge of pelican community liason, ‘these birds wish it could be oil spill day every day!'”
But digital imaging expert, Julian Cook, said: “If you look at the edges of the pelican you can see a slight change in the depth of the macro-pixelation.
“That’s been done by someone who has clearly been using Photoshop 8.2.3 for less than a fortnight.
“Meanwhile the light is hitting the sleeve of the jacket and the pelican’s bill at two completely different angles. That’s physically impossible.
“Also, pelicans don’t have arms.”