Elephant produces balancing act to snatch treat
Elephant: It reached out its long trunk out to gently grab the food from the toddler tourist who was being held up by his father. Photo: BNPS
The animal spotted a curious toddler holding a snack clambered up onto a narrow wall on the edge of its enclosure to snatch it.
Balancing on its tiptoes the elephant teetered precariously on the four inch wide ledge.
It then reached out its long trunk out to gently grab the food from the toddler tourist who was being held up by his father.
The moment was captured by amateur photographer Tobias Haase, during a visit to Hamburg Zoo in Germany.
Mr Haase, 34, from Hamburg, said: "The zoo is famous for its open animal areas.
"They keep the harmless animals like elephants in these enclosures without a real fence – just a big ditch which they can't jump over.
"People bring vegetables and other green food to give to the elephants – it's not forbidden and they love it.
"They're quite used to it and have learned to reach over and pluck the food out of visitors' hands.
"Sometimes they even do a bit of acrobatics to get there.
"On this day, the elephant was particularly agile. It saw the tourist holding out a bit of food and scrambled up on the ledge.
"It teetered there for a while, trying not to wobble off, as it stretched its trunk out for the food.
"It stayed there for a while trying to get more before it climbed down.
"It even looked like it was nodding thank you to the tourist before it wandered off into its enclosure."