The real story behind incredible photograph of two kangaroos ‘celebrating’ in the rain4 min read

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An incredible photograph appearing to show two kangaroos celebrating in the rain amid Australia’s horror bushfire season was actually taken six years ago.

Australian photographer Charles Davis lashed out online after noticing his iconic black and white photo was being used as a symbol of the bushfires relenting. 

Mr Davis took to Facebook to set the record straight, revealing the shot was actually of two kangaroos fighting each other in NSW’s Kosciuszko National Park in 2014. 

‘These kangaroos are more than likely ash now and definitely aren’t celebrating anything,’ he wrote in a scathing post. 

A stunning photo

A stunning photo 

Photographer Charles Davis has debunked the viral post this week, revealing the image was actually taken back in 2014 when he was on a job at Kosciuszko National Park, in NSW

Photographer Charles Davis has debunked the viral post this week, revealing the image was actually taken back in 2014 when he was on a job at Kosciuszko National Park, in NSW

The 33-year-old photographer, from Cooma, told Daily Mail Australia he captured the stunning shot after spending three hours watching kangaroos fight in the rain.

It won an award for the monochrome category for the Australian Geographic later that year.  

He said he first noticed his photo had resurfaced online around Christmas time and then ‘got out of hand’ on New Year’s Day when fires began to intensify around the country.

Mr Davis said he became fed up with seeing his property being used to spread ‘lies’ online, prompting him to address the issue on Facebook last week.

‘It really annoys me that I even have to post this while everything around my home is still burning,’ he said on Tuesday.

‘This photo, my photo has been used to post lies all over social media for the last two weeks. People are posting it saying (someone captured these kangaroos celebrating the rains that are putting out the fires in Australia).

‘Firstly, I took this photo in 2014. These kangaroos are more than likely ash now and definitely aren’t celebrating anything. I can say first hand there has been bugger all rain and everything is still very much burning.

‘If you see you anyone posting this photo with bulls**t lies like this please set them straight.It’s bad enough to have your work stolen but to have it used to promote lies for others social media ego stroking is not cool. ‘ 

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Mr Davis said he was not so much bothered by his photo being stolen, but more upset over the false message it was sending.

‘The area I live in has been on fire and people around the world are posting my photo saying there are no more bushfires and that people in Australia are celebrating.

‘The person was so lazy they didn’t even bother to check who took the photo or fact-check it.’ 

He  emphasised that the kangaroos in the photo were fighting and not celebrating, as the post claimed. 

Skies turn red from smoke of the Snowy Valley bushfire on the outskirts of Cooma on January 4

Skies turn red from smoke of the Snowy Valley bushfire on the outskirts of Cooma on January 4

A kangaroo jumps in a field amidst smoke from a bushfire in Snowy Valley on the outskirts of Cooma, near the Snowy Mountains

A kangaroo jumps in a field amidst smoke from a bushfire in Snowy Valley on the outskirts of Cooma, near the Snowy Mountains 

‘They’re not celebrating, animals don’t celebrate. They eat, sleep and fight. They were fighting.

‘The photo is called ‘Praise to the Rain’ – so I think I’m a little bit to blame, but anyone with common sense would know they’re fighting.

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‘It was taken in Geehi, NSW, near Kosciuszko National Park and everything around it burned so I don’t think those kangaroos are celebrating much.’ 

Mr Davis said the majority of people sharing the photo out of context are foreigners or inner-city Australians who are not aware of the scale of the disaster. 

He said he had messaged one American man asking him to take the photo down, but the comment was later deleted.  

‘People don’t wanna take it down because they’ve gotten likes, they’ve gotten shares from posting it even though it’s not true.’ 

‘I know everyone likes to think [the photo] is happy, peachy and wonderful, but this is one of those things you can’t sweep under the rug, the truth is it’s still really bad and will keep being bad.’

The wildlife photographer lives in a farm near the Snowy Mountains region that has been under threat of raging bushfires for weeks.

The blazes have been so bad, Mr Davis has not been able to take any photos for a month because his ‘subjects have burnt to death’ or have fled somewhere else.