An angry elephant made an exception when it took a picture of itself – indifferently destroying thousands of pounds worth of camera equipment.
After spotting it near his watering hole, the seven-ton bull elephant casually threw the device into the mud pit.
Photographer Paul Souders was trying to capture a close-up of a herd of males in Chobe National Park, Botswana, when the giant mammal struck.
But the costly lesson did not deter the American as he went through several expensive cameras, ranging from £395 to £3,945.
He said: ‘Elephants are intelligent and curious creatures, so I was not surprised when he checked the camera with his trunk, sniffing it delicately.
“But the utter contempt and contempt when he picked it up and threw it that hurt my feelings a little bit.”
He added: ‘If I had to guess, he’s just annoyed that there’s this silly, undulating thing in the way of where he wanted to drink.’
Mr. Souders also set up cameras in Nxai Pan National Park and along the Botete River in Makgadigadi Pans National Park.
He planted them at the edge of the watering holes, using his past experience to guess where the elephants would roam.
The 52-year-old man then remotely controlled the camera from a truck 30-50m away.
Mr. Souders, from Seattle, said: ‘Maybe someone is crazy enough to lie down in a muddy pool and try to take pictures of elephants from five feet away – but I’m not that guy anymore.
‘So I put the cameras out there and let them take the risk. Those are all commercially available devices that anyone could afford. You just have to be willing to see it destroyed.
‘It’s a Buddhist thing that I unintentionally cultivated late, avoiding attachments to material things.’
Luckily, Mr. Souders was able to repair all of his damaged cameras after the trip – but added: ‘Next time I try this, I’ll plan a little better and protect my cameras in a waterproof case.’