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This incredible photo captured the spiritual moment a faithful otter looked to the heavens for guidance on catching his next meal.|
The once in a lifetime snap was taken by photographer Marac Andrev Kolodzinski who spent two hours waiting in freezing cold weather at Whipsnade Zoo, in Dunstable, Bedfordshire, to capture the divine moment.
Marac, 49, from Herefordshire, has been taking photos for over 20 years but this is the first time he has captured an otter who appears to be praying.
He said: 'You don't get those snaps by chance, I had to keep wandering around keeping watch on what was going on, waiting for the right time.
'I took the photos at Whipsnade Zoo, which has this island with a purpose built moat for the otters. I had to hide there for a long time to get the shot.
'The otter was running around cradling a stone under his arm when he was surprised by another otter jumping out of the water which caused him to jump and throw the stone in the air.
'When he started trying to grab it I took the snap.'
And his unique photo has even attracted religious organisations who have been asking if they can use it with their publicity.
Marac added: 'I've had lots of religious people call me up, saying that I was a tool doing the Lords work.
'There was a guy from a religious cult that called me once, I think they were from Switzerland but I'm not sure. He wanted me to come out to Switzerland and preach to all these people about how I felt, and what I experienced at the time.'
But Marac has politely declined the offers.
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is one of Europe's largest wildlife conservation parks and is home to 2,955 animals, many of which are endangered in the wild.
The majority of the animals are kept within enclosures cut some, such as the peacocks and Australian wallabies, roam freely around the park.
The park is over 600 acres and can be located from miles to the north and from the air because of the iconic Whipsnade White Lion figure carved into the side of the Dunstable Downs.
Marac said: 'There was something going with the otters that day, they weren't their normal selves. maybe it was breeding season but this guy was a right character.'