Playful red squirrels as you've NEVER seen them before

Playful red squirrels as you’ve NEVER seen them before: Stunning photos taken by Rwandan genocide survivor capture playful animal up close as they pose with series of props

  • Photographer shared creative photographs of squirrels on social media, using props to create unique images
  • Niki Colemont, 35, was left in an orphanage aged four, alongside his sister, at start of the Rwandan genocide
  • Now, he uses a variety of props to create stunning and unique images of squirrels in unusual situations

Squirrels are well-known to be highly intelligent animals, but even they need to let their fur down every once in a while. 

And the playful nature of squirrels has been perfectly captured by 35-year-old photographer Niki Colemont who snapped the animals using a variety of different props.

Niki, originally from Rwanda but now living in Belgium, was placed in an orphanage at the age of four, alongside his sister, at the start of the Rwandan genocide. He eventually made a life for himself in Europe and took up amateur photography in 2016 – working on perfecting wildlife photography, with a focus on squirrels.

He uses props such as miniature park benches, drink cans and flowers, among others, to set up creative displays for the squirrels to interact with for the photos.

In one of his images, a squirrel can be seen riding on the back of a model reindeer, as if it were a human riding a horse.

In another, a squirrel is stood on its hind legs, with its front paws holding a flower up to its face in order to smell it. 

Speaking about how he sets up the photos, Niki said: ‘For 6 years, I’ve used food in every setup, but I have to place it in such a way that it won’t be visible in the pictures. In 6 years of shooting squirrels, I had some images and moments I will never forget.

‘I spent about 5 hours a day observing my little friends. I had days when nothing in front of me happened. It’s important not to give up and always go back and try to capture that one image you have in mind.’

‘Where to sir?’ In this picture, Niki has captured a squirrel attempting to grab a ride on the back of a model of a reindeer

This inquisitive squirrel was snapped as it stood on its hind legs with its arms clinging onto the petals of a brightly coloured flower. The animal then leans in as if sniffing the plant

Lunch time! It looks like it’s lunchtime in this playful picture as a squirrel seems to approach a tiny picnic bench, on which a red container of food has been left

To infinity…: This squirrel demonstrated its bravery and channelled its inner King Kong as it climbed to the top of a tall tower of tin cans

On the move: With a large nut safely secured for dinner dangling from its mouth, this squirrel can be seen as it scampers along a tree branch

How does it smell? A seemingly popular pose amongst squirrel, Niki manged to capture the moment this squirrel leant in close to a vibrant pink flower to have a smell

Running around looking for food is thirsty work, as this squirrel demonstrated as it began poking its head into the top of a drinks can to have a sip

Easy does it! Offering a glimpse into how he sets up some of his photos, Niki left his hand, full of nuts in this shot to show how he grabs the squirrel’s attention

Early years: Though fully grown, this squirrel seemingly enjoyed the opportunity to suck on a baby pacifier in this photo, which had the words ‘I love mama’ on it

Since turning to photography, Niki has used a number of props to help set up creative snaps of squirrels, including this one which features a syringe

Date night! This squirrel seemingly liked the look of this child’s doll on a pink scooter, as he appeared to lean in for a kiss

Looks like rain! Not feeling like getting its fur wet with the turning weather, this squirrel appeared to open up an umbrella to protect itself

Daredevil: This stunning photo sees a confident squirrel clinging onto a tree branch as it leans down precariously to a large body of water

Feeling festive: It’s never too early to put the Christmas decorations up for this squirrel who looks as though it is preparing a bright red bauble

Flying high: Niki captured this elegant photo of a squirrel as it jumps through the air – its tail can be seen trailing behind it, while it focuses its attention on its landing

Tucking in: Having arrived at a small prop wooden bench, this squirrel wasted no time in eating the food left for it in a small red container

On the road again: This squirrel seems to have practised its waving as it travels in a toy carriage being pulled by a doll on a pink horse – as it passes by the camera it seems to raise a hand as if waving

Top of the food chain: This squirrel knows who’s boss as it attempts to ride on the back of a toy dinosaur while carrying a nut triumphantly in its mouth

Running home for dinner: Conscious not to leave its family waiting, this squirrel appears to have been in a hurry as it leaped through the air, carrying a large nut

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