A clumsy antelope managed to get a giant elephant skull stuck on its antlers after practising rutting against it.
Retired ecologist Andrew Schofield and his wife Simone, both 64, were visiting South Africa’s Addo Elephant National Park in October when they spotted the large kudu.
As the enormous animal bent its head down, it pushed a huge elephant skull to mimic tests of strength it would normally perform against other male kudus.
But its antlers accidentally slipped into the skull’s eye sockets, causing the huge bones to slide down the horns and rest on the startled animal’s head.
Desperately trying to free itself, the kudu hurled its head around for five minutes before finally managing to throw the skull over its back and running off once free from the predicament.
Andrew, from Cape Town, said: ‘I’ve observed kudus rut trees and stumps, but never with an elephant skull like this. I sent it to my former colleagues as well and none of them had seen something like this before.
‘In 46 years of working and watching bush wildlife, I have never heard of this happening before. It was a complete freak incident.
‘It put its head down and pushed the skull around a bit. All of a sudden, his antlers slipped perfectly into the skull’s eye sockets and he had it stuck on his head.
‘He had no idea what to do. I honestly thought we would have to get a dart gun and help to get the skull unstuck.
‘He was shaking it off for about five minutes in total before he eventually managed to throw it over his own back. When it hit the ground he was frightened and ran off.
‘They test their strength with other kudus by putting their heads down and pushing each other backwards and forwards.
‘This one put its head down against this elephant skull, which is something they would normally do with another male or sometimes a bush.
‘Me and Simone love wildlife, myself especially as a retired ecologist. We managed to do three national parks when we were on holiday.