By Kristiana Hall
A pair of young giraffes appear to cuddle each other in the African wilderness by intertwining their necks.
Torie Hilley, 28, was visiting Hluhluwe, iMfolozi Game Reserve in South Africa, when she came across these two young male giraffes.
And while the male giraffes appear to be cuddling, according to Torie, they’re in fact practising their fighting skills.
The giraffes can be seen nudging each other with their necks as they wrap around one another.
Torie, a graduate in animal science and behaviour, from Ventura, California, US, said: “While researching wild dogs for my master’s degree last May in South Africa, we came upon these two young male giraffes ‘necking.’
“Necking is a form of fighting amongst male giraffes, usually over females. However, these two were only practicing and weren’t really hitting each other too hard; thus, making it look like a dance and more intimate rather than aggressive.
“This is a perfect example of a photograph implying one thing, but if you were there, it is in a totally different context.
“I usually photograph nature in general – the whole idea is to photograph the animals I research to add to the public’s awareness.”