All tangled up! Adorable snaps show baby elephants play fighting with trunks entwined
These adorable photos capture the moment two young elephants get in a tangle during a play fight.
The cute African elephants were snapped with their trunks entwined and gently pushing up against each other in the Addo Elephant National Park in South Africa.
Taken by professional photographer Anne Laing, 59, the youngsters are learning how to use and control their trunks.
Anne, from Pretoria, South Africa, said: “There are plenty of other animals in Addo but I go there primarily to shoot elephants.
“I always spend the whole day in the park from before 7am to 6 pm.
“The best way to find elephants in Addo, where the vegetation is mostly really dense, is to drive very slowly and listen for them breaking branches then one knows they are close by.
“Twisting trunks is something young elephants do to while play-fighting but it also teaches them how to fully control their trunks.
“They are also mimicking adult behaviour as this is a form of greeting.
“Until they’re three months old they don’t have control of their trunks and they just flop around but as they get older they have to be able to use them as humans would use an arm, hand and straw – for drinking water.”
Anne, who has been taking pictures for around 35 years, also snapped the elephants drinking and spraying each other.
“Water is critical to elephants as they need to drink every day, with adults drinking up to 150 litres per day.
“In one of the photographs after drinking they use their trunks to spray their bodies with water to keep cool.
“They often have to walk many miles to find water to drink and then walk many more miles away from the water again so need to try and keep cool.”
In another tender moment, a mother was snapped stroking her baby with her trunk.
Anne said: “The mother is caressing her baby elephant with her trunk – their trunks are very sensitive to touch.”
As well as capturing wildlife, professional photographer Anne takes sports pictures including the rugby, cricket and soccer World Cups in South Africa, France and England and the Brazilian Olympics in 2016.
Anne said: “I try and do as many wildlife trips as possible and hope to get to Antarctica one day.
“I also hope to shoot the next Rugby World Cup and the Olympics in Japan.”