By Sophie Jane Evans
A German conservation official has shot dead an elephant in Botswana - before posing with its corpse.
Udo Wedekind, whose job includes environmental protection and care of endangered species, fired at the animal during a hunting trip in the African country last year.
He then posed for two pictures with its carcass, before boasting about its size and weight.
The senior regional government official - named as Mr Wedekind by Thueringer Allgemeine newspaper - then sent the photos to his friends in Germany.
Alongside the images, he wrote: 'From trunk to tail the elephant was 7.24metres long. I would estimate he weighed in at about 3 tonnes.
''The hunt was tough, it was 37 degrees celsius in the shade, and was really humid. There was also thick bush, making the going tough.
'It was really a challenge. I'm so happy that it ended with a real hunting victory.'
Last month, Botswana passed a law banning elephant hunting by wealthy foreigners - some of whom were willing to pay up to £20,000 for a licence to shoot the animals.
However, Mr Wedekind's hunting trip took place last year - before the ban came into force.
At the time of his trip, a conference about elephant shooting was taking place in the country.
The meeting - attended by several German officials - discussed ways in which to protect the species and the banning of the illegal ivory trade.
Today, Thueringen's regional government environment minister, Juergen Reinholz, said: 'It is not of interest what civil servants do in their free time as long as they follow the law and don't break the rules.'
In January 2012, Spanish king Juan Carlos was forced to apologise after breaking his hip while taking part in an expensive elephant hunt in Africa.
In an unprecedented act of royal contrition, the monarch said: 'I am very sorry. I made a mistake. It won't happen again.'
The king was forced to resign his honorary role with the WWF as a result of the trip. Photos.