This is the moment a leopard got too close to a herd of elephants – and got a soaking for its troubles.
The big cat tried its luck against the herd of 15 elephants by stalking the group and sipping from the same water hole.
But one of the herd spotted the leopard, decided it was being far too bold and squirted a stream of water in its direction to shoo it away.
The moment was captured by Mark Müller, 46, at the Kalkeuwel water hole in Etosha National Park, Namibia, as he watched the elephants at play.
The Swiss photographer said: ‘They were splashing about, spraying water on their backs and being rather noisy.’
But other animals in the surroundings, including giraffes and zebras, clearly sensed danger and moved away.
‘Suddenly I discovered a leopard entering the open area around the waterhole,’ said Mr Müller.
‘The leopard calmly and without any signs of fear just walked between the elephants and some giraffes to the waterhole, crouched down and started to lap up water.
‘The elephants must first have been as surprised as me at the cat’s careless attitude, despite the proximity of the much larger elephants.’
The elephants began to encircle the leopard in an act of intimidation.
It began to walk away, but paused between some of the herd and a giraffe.
And that’s when one elephant decided to teach the smaller creature a lesson.
‘What I did not notice at the time was that one of the elephants must have sucked up a trunk full of water,’ Mr Müller said.
‘With a flash that elephant sprayed the water at the leopard, which stood no more than five metres away.’
The impromptu shower sent the leopard running for the bushes and left Mr Müller, who uses a Nikon F4 camera, reeling with his good fortune.
He said: ‘I do not think I breathed from the moment the leopard started walking between the elephants to the waterhole.
‘The shower was so unexpected and I was very lucky to have captured it – that sequence took maybe two seconds.
‘I knew immediately that I had witnessed something very special.
‘It is already elusive enough to observe leopards in the wild, but this was one-of-a-kind.’