An angry white rhinoceros has been pictured charging down a dirt track in Kenya at a brave photographer who was able to stand his ground and capture rare pictures of the huge endangered animal.
Taken at Nairobi National Park in Kenya, the terrifying photos show the three-ton beast charging straight towards the camera with all her feet off the ground, making it look like she is flying through the air.
Gurcharan Roopra, 42, said he took the picture following a brawl between a pair of female white rhinoceros, which both of their respective calves joined in with too.
But as the dust settled, Mr Roopra said one of the rhinos started to charge towards him.
The photographer said he saw the perfect opportunity for a photograph, and rather than getting himself to safety, he stayed in the path of the huge animal, which luckily veered off around him at the last second.
‘Initially I just thought the rhinos were play-fighting but when I looked back at the pictures they had some spots of blood on them so it must have been intense,’ Mr Gurcharan from Nairobi, Kenya, said.
‘We were watching them for about 30 minutes and they were moving around a lot while fighting.
‘One of the mothers turned around at one point and ran towards us and the guy who was with me was absolutely terrified.
‘I’ve photographed this family of rhinoceros for the past five years and I know they aren’t aggressive characters so I was pretty calm – the complete opposite!
‘When one of the mother rhinos came charging towards us, it was the perfect opportunity for a photo and I’m really pleased with how it turned out.
All four rhinos came running towards the photographers one by one – but luckily jumped to the left and ran past them in the close-shave encounter.
Gurcharan added: ‘I got a full sequence of her feet up and down on the ground but the best one is where she looks like she’s flying with all feet off the ground.
‘People are always quite shocked when they see this photo. I always get questions about the backstory and whether she was charging at me.
‘Photography gives me the best form of relaxation and whenever I get home from the park I fall asleep straight away with no worries.
‘It’s even relaxing when a rhino is charging right towards you!’
The white rhino consists of two subspecies: the southern white rhino, of which there is an estimated 19,682–21,077 alive in the wild (as of 2015) and the much more rare northern subspecies, of which there are only two alive – both females and both in captivity.
Rhinos are a common target of poachers who hunt them for their ivory tusks, with uncontrolled poaching during the colonial era considered to be the major factor in the decline of white rhinos.
The animals make easy targets for poachers due to their size, poor eyesight and tendency to travel in herds.