By JULIAN GAVAGHAN
Find something a-mule-ing? A laughing donkey, pictured at the Red Rock Conservation Area in Nevada
Had this mule just watched Shrek? Because he certainly found something very amusing.
The ass - which bears a striking similarity to Donkey from the movies – just couldn’t stop pulling comical faces.
He was captured on camera by wildlife photographer Mick Gallagher - who spent months trying to get close to the group. And when one animal finally decided to pose for the camera, it seems he found something to smile about - with hilarious results.
Mick, 42, who has been working as a professional photographer after he was made redundant from his marketing job during the economic downturn, has tried to build a bond with the animals, which roam in the Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area, Nevada.
Making a Shrek-tacle: The mule bore more than a slight resemblance to the character Donkey in the movie
He said: ‘The laughing photo was taken during a three-day trip to Vegas at the end of 2011. I was hiking in one of my favourite locations and searching for the burros so I could shoot them at sunset in the hazy, dusty orange light just before sunset.
‘I found one of the packs and gently moved closer, until I was within just a few yards. I knelt down and waited, camera ready.
‘Finally, one of the younger and friendlier burros became curious and slowly walked up to me, sniffed me and the camera, then took a step back and treated me to a huge bray that allowed me to fire off the best series of wild burro shots I've taken to date.
Adventure: Photographer Mick Gallagher at the entrance to the park where he snapped the donkey
‘It was a great moment for me as a photographer, and deepened my emotional connection with these wonderful wild creatures.
‘It looked just like he was throwing his head back and laughing.
‘I discovered the burros in 2009 during one of my first hikes.
‘I soon learned that there are nearly a dozen groups of wild burros in Red Rock Canyon, all segregated into tight family packs and each distinguishable by the color of their coat.
Up close: Mick spent months trying to get near the wild burros in the canyon
Lookalike: Donkey in the Shrek movies series