Photographer Max Ellis, 51, spends hours working to ensure the wild squirrels take up their hilarious stance

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Heavy lifting: This squirrel appears to be pumping iron, but is actually gathering sunflower seeds that have been strategically placed on a dumbbell suspended in the air using a fishing line. Photographer Max Ellis says it takes hours – and occasionally days – to set up each shot, as he has to wait for his subjects to take the right stance

Garden-visiting squirrels have been transformed into heroes of the animal kingdom after being unwittingly coaxed into human-like poses.

From popping a champagne cork to appearing to take part in magic tricks, the wild squirrels captured in these images are gently coaxed into their eccentric positions using a variety of toys and food treats.

Photographer Max Ellis, 51, says it takes hours – and occasionally days – to set up each shot, as he has to wait for his subjects to take up the exact stance in his garden in Teddington…

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