This is the moment a hidden camera trap caught a happy deer jumping around in a muddy puddle.
Ecological consultant Dr Jochen Langbein, 61, was delighted when he watched back the footage from his hidden cameras and saw the playful red deer.
He caught two deer doing a happy dance in the same muddy puddle in Exmoor National Park last month.
Deer like to play in the mud during the mating season, but it is less common to be able to see them do this up close.
Dr Langbein said: “On viewing the footage captured on the camera trap I was clearly delighted to see I had captured such high-spirited behaviour of the young stags right close up to the camera.
“Red deer stags in particular are known to use mud wallows especially during the peak of mating season or ‘rut’ in late September, when they will often roll in the mud to adorn themselves with the pungent rut odour.
“In addition, female red deer as well as yearling males are equally fond of wallowing and covering themselves in mud both during the rutting time, but also well into the winter when mature stags use them less frequently or have left the area.
“It is suggested by some that deer wallow partly to get rid of ticks and other external parasites.
“Among our different deer species, red deer are known to use mud wallows much more extensively than do fallow and roe deer, but the behaviour has received only quite limited scientific study.
“The footage illustrates perfectly the excitement and joy the deer appear to get from wallowing in the mud- the best things in life remain free!”
The first stag in the clip is approximately 18 months old as he has single spike antlers, but the second has much larger ones, so could be about 2-and-a-half years old.
The videos were taken on December 4 and December 8 2020.