By Mikey Jones
This impala’s horns have appeared to melt in the heat of an African day.
The unique photographs, shot by 44-year-old professional wildlife snapper Nelis Wolmarans, actually show an antelope with a severe horn deformation.
But thanks to the exact symmetry in the length, shape and position of the male animal’s unusual horns, they appear instead to have flopped forward as temperatures sweltered in Kenya’s Meru National Park,
Nelis, from Port Elizabeth, South Africa, said: “We were out early morning doing some bird photography when we stumbled upon this very unusual looking male impala.
“I have seen horn deformation in antelope species before, but never to this extent.
“What makes this animal so unique is that both horns are deformed.
“There is also the symmetry of the two horns and the incredible length of the horns.”
Nelis said there is a mixture of reasons the strange horn phenomenon can happen, including injuries or inbreeding.
He added: “I was pretty dumbstruck by the extent of the deformity and of course the symmetry of the two horns.
“Also, to see this animal in such good overall health surprised me as nature often has a way of sorting out the weaker individuals, which obviously this male is not.
“What was quite interesting to observe was the way in which he navigated narrow openings in the bush by simply tilting his head to the one side to allow the horns to pass the vegetation.”