These amazing pictures capture red squirrels enjoying their own Olympics – posing with weights, gymnastic rings and bicycles.
Carpenter Geert Weggen (CORR), 48, built the mini obstacles in his back garden and then enticed the notoriously shy animals with seeds and nuts.
The amateur photographer spent THREE months waiting for the squirrels to strike the perfect sports poses so he could capture the shots.
His incredible images show red squirrels lifting weights, peering into a pool, mounting a mini bicycle, swinging on gymnastics rings and sitting on a toy dressage horse.
One cheeky squirrel even celebrates on a mini podium – scoffing monkey nuts instead of a cherished gold medal.
Geert, from Bispgarden, Sweden, said: “I love taking pictures of squirrels. I spent about three months watching and waiting for the ideal shot.
“I wanted to capture the squirrels doing sports but when I realised the Olympics were coming up I built a mini course.
“Thankfully, animals will do anything for food.”
Geert started photographing squirrels several years ago after noticing the mixing with foxes and birds in his leafy back garden.
He became fascinated with the beautiful and bushy red squirrels which have thrived in mainland Europe despite being almost wiped out in Britain due to the influx of greys from the U.S.
Geert set up special lighting, camera equipment and platforms for the red squirrels to climb on – and began waiting patiently to snap them.
The squirrels visiting his garden gradually become so used to him that he was able to take pictures from just a few inches away. Some will now even touch him.
He uses sunflower seeds and peanuts to entice the squirrels then feeds them walnuts or hazelnuts to reward them after photographing them.
Geert added: “Taking photographs of the squirrels is an art. For me there are many feelings involved.
“The squirrels cannot be controlled and they’re still nervous and wild. They are very fine tuned and react often impulsively.
“It seems to me that they are quite impatient. They change their mood and behaviour.
“Even after all these years of photographing the squirrels, they still manage to surprise me.
“When I catch just that moment that shot, with everything just right then it feels like a perfect dance – exciting and a kind of magic.
“A moment captured that most people think is not possible.”
Watch the making of the amazing pictures: