Meerkat climbs on photographer in the Kalahari desert

Wildlife Photography: When Animals Interrupt

It's an occupational hazard.

Wildlife photography can be a hairy business. Swimming with sharks? Trailing tigers? Stalking rattlesnakes? Oh my! Other times, however, the biggest complication in getting the shot is simply a too-friendly beast. We were reminded of this by a recent (adorable) tweet thread from @Polychromantium:

And so, we pawed through the archive to find our own menagerie of interrupting animals. (Pictured at top: A meerkat standing on the back of a photographer in Botswana.)

UNITED STATES - JUNE 11: Jim and Jamie Dutcher photographing gray wolves. Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho. (Photo by Jim & Jamie Dutcher/National Geographic/Getty Images) Jim & Jamie Dutcher/National Geographic/Getty Images WOLF BACK A gray wolf looms at Sawtooth Range, Idaho. PHOTO ASSISTANT TONY HEENON, GETS AN EYE TO EYE WITH A KANGAROO. AUSTRALIA. Martin Harvey A LOOKIE 'ROO Two kangaroos investigate a photographer's equipment in Australia.

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KALAHARI DESERT, BOTSWANA - UNDATED: EXCLUSIVE Wildlife photographer Matt Burrard-Lucas lays of the ground taking pictures of meerkats as one meerkat hops onto his head for a better view, in the Kalahari Desert in Botswana. These rare pictures document a wild meerkat displaying astounding behaviour by using a human being as a sentry post. The clever meerkat has decided to make use of its human visitor in a bid to protect its family from being eaten by deadly hunters. Certain members of every meerkat family perform the role of guarding the burrows while their kin go out to forage. They stand on their hind legs to survey the dangerous African bush for predators such as snakes and hawks, who can make a meal of them in seconds. The ever alert creatures line up so that at the merest hint of danger they can alert their family, who will scuttle quickly to the safety of a nearby bush or rock. The incredible behaviour was documented on a visit to a family of meerkats in the rugged Kalahari Desert of Botswana by London-based wildlife photographers, Will Burrard-Lucas, 27, and his brother, Matt, 21. Will's wife, Natalie, 27, accompanied the brothers and was lucky enough to perform the role of sentry post for the vigilant meerkats. (Photo by Burrard-Lucas / Barcroft Media / Getty Images) Barcroft/Barcroft Media via Getty Images MEERKAT MANNER Another one climbs a human in Botswana. Coal tit (Periparus ater / Parus ater) perched on telephoto lens of wildlife photographer. (Photo by: Arterra/UIG via Getty Images) Arterra/UIG via Getty Images WINGS OF GLORY A coal tit perches prettily. Austria, Grossglockner, Man taking photograph of Alpine Marmots (Marmota marmota) FotoFealing MOUNTAIN MARMOTS An alpine marmot is ready for his close-up in Austria. Cheetah sniffing at a photographer with camera, South Africa, Africa Per-Andre Hoffmann / LOOK-foto SPOTTED A cheetah sniffs around a photographer in South Africa. Columbian Ground Squirrel standing on back of photographer, Canada J-P Lahall GETTING SQUIRRELY A squirrel appears to be snacking while on the back of a photographer in Canada.



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