They are famous for their intelligence and memory, but this was the extraordinary moment when a 12,000lb elephant is confused and thinks it is a giraffe.
Struggling on its two legs to get a good meal high up in the trees, the hungry beast crawls on his hind legs before stretching out his long trunk and tearing off a few of its favourite leaves for a snack.
And in an exact replica of a giraffe, the 11ft tall monster jumped up again to grab the luscious green leaves on the second tree.
The rare action was captured by photographer Michael Poliza, who couldn’t believe his eyes when the muscular animal performed the unbelievable trick.
He said: ‘The elephants have a good ability and a reputation for using force to satisfy their dietary requirements.
‘They use their trunks to pluck leaves and their tusks to tear off branches that can cause huge damage.
‘But it was unusual to see one standing on his back to shake a tree as tall as this and rip off some of the branches that have delectable leaves on them.
‘This is a bull elephant – most male elephants live most of their lives in the wild as independent wanderers.
“Though this looked like it’s spent way too much time watching giraffes forage.” The African elephant is the largest land animal and can munch up to 450kg of vegetation per day.
They can live to be around 70 years old and are among the most intelligent species in the world.
This intelligent creature was captured by Michael, 53, while near the Zambezi River, Zimbabwe.
These photos are part of a collection of never-before-seen images that Michael took during his years on the continent and are included in his new book.
He added: ‘I’ve lived in Cape Town for several years – living in Africa was when my image of wildlife and landscapes evolved.
‘The game reserves and nature parks in southern Africa are simply stunning and home to a fascinating world.’