Swinging in mid-air like a rag doll, this monitor lizard struggled when a naughty elephant delighted it.
The unlucky creature was washed off the face of the ground and was carried for several days by Madhuri, an Indian elephant.
With the tail clamped firmly in the animal’s trunk, the lizard was rotated and occasionally placed back on the floor.
It can be a bumpy ride for the little creature – but Madhuri certainly looked delighted with his new ‘toy’.
These exceptional photos were taken by Jagdeep Rajput during a trip to Corbett National Park in India.
The 49-year-old from Delhi has been photographing for 20 years but admits he has never seen such a strange sight before.
He said: ‘I’ve heard of this elephant before and have been looking for it.
‘She was known to be quite aggressive, so when I finally found her, I approached her carefully.
‘The park has a large population of lizards, and Madhuri is known as an expert at catching them – she has a particular taste for monitor lizards.
‘She captured the lizard alive and carried it around for several days – tossing it up and even dropping it.
‘Her behaviour was extraordinary, and I had never seen or heard of anything so strange before.’
The Indian elephant is a subspecies of the Asian elephant.
This particular species can weigh up to 5 tons and measure 11 meters from foot to shoulder.
Its trunk has no bones and cartilage but contains 100,000 units of muscle, which gives the elephant incredible dexterity and allows it to pick up tiny objects.
This species is endowed with a huge brain, which allows them to record memories and experiences.
Some experts even believe that this animal possesses an intuition that allows them to imagine how other elephants are feeling.
There are believed to be less than 30,000 Asian elephants in existence, about half of which are found in India.
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