This is a photo of Russian leader Vladimir Putin next to a tiger he shot with a tranquilizer gun in order to help preservationists track it. Or is it?

Well, it's definitely Putin and a tiger, but Russian environmentalist Dmitry Molodtsov doesn't think Putin's story checks out. He posits that the tiger in the photo is not a wild animal but rather an already docile zoo tiger. After comparing Putin's tiger to a photo of the Khabarovsky Zoo tiger, Molodtsov has determined a "99.9% probability" that the two are the same.

It had nothing to do with environmental protection and the preservation of tigers. The purpose was only to increase Putin's ratings.

Naturally, the Russian government is denying the allegations. Natalya Remennikova, an employee of the government's tiger preservation program, said that Molodtsov was likely trying to smear Putin — kind of like those protestors who claim Putin stole the last election.

[Image via AP]