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One woman has documented the animals that she photographed over the course of a year – by getting into the frame with them. Shannon Benson – who markets herself as ‘Shannon Wild’ – 36, from South Africa, has walked hand in trunk with an elephant and even been licked by a leopard, all while she was out on a safari.

31F3210E00000578-3Shannon has admitted that she has being chased by an elephant
31F3210E00000578-3Shannon has admitted that she has being chased by an elephant

The brilliant photos show just how up close and personal some of her subjects were willing to get when allowed to approach, although some of the smaller critters caused chaos when climbing all over her camera equipment.

Shannon, a wildlife photographer, lives and breathes the wild lifestyle although she has endured a variety of scrapes along the way.

From being chased by an elephant to a mauling from a cheetah, Shannon really has had a brush with the outback.

Shannon said: ‘I’m so passionate about animals and I like to get photos of as many as possible.

‘I have plenty of scars and stories from over the years when I’ve been working with wildlife and the animals have gone a bit too far.

‘I’ve been bitten in the face by a dog, charged by an elephants, lions and buffalo, bitten countless times by snakes and lizards, and mauled by a cheetah, but it doesn’t discourage me.

‘The way I look at it though is, you shouldn’t be a chef if you don’t ever want to get a burn from hot food and wildlife photography is the same.

‘I’m excited by every encounter that I have am surprisingly calm in most situations, even when tracking a lion on foot.

‘But there are always potential hazards with animals and I engage with them all – not just the cute and fluffy ones

‘But even the bad stories remind me how exciting my job is and how lucky I am to have it.’

Cheetah being caddled by Shallonn
Cheetah being cuddled by Shallonn

Daily mail