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Stunning images by Russian photographer Katerina Plotnikova evoke land of fairy-tales

The Russian artist used real animals in her work

There’s no need to suspend your disbelief when viewing these stunning photographs – the exquisite images aren’t the work of Photoshop, but real-life interactions between humans and animals.

Russian photographer Katerina Plotnikova captured the breath-taking scenes with the help of two professional animal trainers.

Evoking a mythical, fairy-tale world, the images transport the viewer to a place outside of space and time. They are, in Ms Plotnikova’s own words, “another tale about wonderland”.

In one an auburn-haired young woman holds out her hand to a grizzly bear, as though the majestic creature is asking her to dance.

In another image a young woman is seen embracing an elephant amid still waters, while one girl is depicted tenderly holding a fox.

Gentle and serene, the surreal photographs are a world away from modern life and a perpetually “switched-on” digital world.

Lose yourself in this whimsical land of innocence where the lines between fantasy and reality are blurred…