These incredible images show a majestic elephant standing up for a bite to eat.
Taken by photographer Bobby-Jo Vial, 36, the images show an African bull elephant stretching out his trunk as he grips on to some leaves to eat.
The stunning photos were taken in Mana Pools national park in Zimbabwe earlier in September.
Bobby-Jo said the images were among the most spectacular she has taken in her career as a photographer.
She said: ‘It was a fantastic demonstration of pure strength, balance, and agility.
This allowed him to pull down the best branches with ease.
This feeding behavior is unique to African bull Elephants. Mana Pools is one of few places where people can observe this.
Many years ago, I saw some images from Mana Pools of bulls standing up on their hind legs to browse the trees. These bulls were given nicknames such as Fred Astaire and Boswell.
It was so amazing to see a younger, less known guy practicing this behavior. I am sure it is a learned behavior by watching other bulls. The behavior happens when food is scarce. Food is limited in dry areas such as Mana Pools at this time of year, so elephants have to get inventive when trying to find food.
My friends, family, and followers have loved the images. They are so impressed with this elephant’s balancing act. People have noticed the gorgeous afternoon light also.
‘Many of my friends and family know how passionate I am about elephants and were very happy for me to observe this with my guests.’
The majestic creatures used to be at severe risk of extinction, and ten percent of African elephants were ki.lled illegally in 2011.
By 2017, this figure had dropped to just four percent, which is thought to be due to China’s declining demand for ivory.
One of Africa’s largest wildlife preserves marked a year without a single elephant found ki.lled by poachers in an area which poachers frequently targeted.
Conservationists say this is good news for elephants but warn the animals still face significant threats.
Between 10,000 and 15,000 elephants are sla.in every year, it is believed, rapidly diminishing the estimated population of just 350,000 elephants.