A charge from an adult African elephant is nothing to laugh about, but a trunk-flailing, floppy eared attempt by a youngster is decidedly less intimidating. While on a recent trip to South Africa's Kruger National Park, wildlife photographers Zander and Stefni Rautenbach came across an elephant calf putting on quite a show in an apparent effort to see off any gawking tourists.

The couple were in the midst of what they describe as an "elephant roadblock" in the vicinity of the Afsaal picnic site when they encountered the playful calf. As they waited for a breeding herd to move across the road, one youngster paused to intimidate the tourists with an attempted display of strength (one that included a full-speed charge through a pile of fresh dung).

Elephants usually offer a number of behavioural cues when they are disgruntled. Head-shaking, trumpeting and ear-flapping are all indications that it's probably best to back off. These displays are sometimes followed up a short lunge to drive the point home. If that fails, an all-out, ears-back charge comes next (something you don't want to be on the receiving end of). 

Mastering these display threats and learning to effectively use a trunk – one of the animal kingdom's most sensitive appendages – can take some time. This calf clearly needs a bit more practice.