It's been a good week for ...


A copyright row has erupted over a selfie taken by a macaque. Nature photographer David Slater said he set up the picture before the monkey clicked the shutter, so it's his copyright and he should be paid when people use it. However, the company behind Wikipedia has refused to remove the image from its Wikimedia Commons website, saying because animals can't have copyright, no-one owns the copyright so it should be freely available. Slater says he has lost earnings of up to $30,000 (£17,800).

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The photo was taken in Indonesia in 2011 while Slater was trying to set up the perfect image of a crested black macaque, only for the primate to comandeer his equipment.

Fortunately, as well as being a gifted photographer, the macaque is a Philadelphia lawyer.

It's been a bad week for ... wildlife enthusiasts

An elephant in South Africa's Pilanesburg National Park gave sightseers an unforgettable experience when he had the sudden urge to scratch an itchy ear. Those are big ears ... and with no handy trees around, the bull elephant targeted a VW Polo with two people inside.

Field guide Armand Grobler took pictures of the elephant gradually squashing the car, whose windows were smashed, roof crushed, tyres blown and chassis broken. Apparently, the passengers were shocked and shaken ... but happy to be alive.

I can empathise. I recall a family trip to a safari park when I was four or five. It was a long time ago - but I have a vivid memory of the elephants. Too vivid, perhaps. Just as we were just finishing off our egg and cress sandwiches, we approached a gateway ... towards which a baby elephant (baby, but still bloody huge) was charging. Even to my juvenile eye, it was plain that Dumbo was going to reach the gate at the same time as us. In this contest of beast versus family saloon, beast was going to win.

With but a trunk-width between pachyderm and bonnet, impact was only just averted when Dumbo swerved at the last minute, with a ranger waving a broom in hot pursuit.

The memory of that moment of impending death-by-elephant has remained with me. An elephant might never forget, but neither does a terrified kid in a Ford Cortina.