(WILDLIFE/PICTURES OF ANIMALS) RUSSIA — Russian photographer Katerina Plotnikova has embarked on a mission to bring fantasy to life. Her photo collection is a surrealist treasure, and recently went viral thanks to the wide assortment of unique animal centerpieces.

Plotnikova controversially uses real wild animals as companions to her young female models, contrasting the two species’ worlds and juxtaposing fantasy with reality.

“Even without the well-trained animals, her photos possess a rich mysticism and dream-like quality that makes them absolutely enchanting. Plotnikova’s human models exude a quiet regal air that is only made all the more arresting by their animal companions,” according to BoredPanda.com.

Although her creations are highly fabricated and use trained wildlife, the photos are quite stunning and seem to celebrate animals in their natural environment.

Nevertheless, Plotnikova’s project poses the following questions: Do these photos showcase the natural beauty and essence of various species and their environments? Do the photos bring about an appreciation for the animals, or are they simply being exploited?

View Plotnikova’s pictures in the following gallery and share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Plotnikova's models pose with trained wild animals. Photo Credit: Katerina Plotnikova
Photo Credit: Katerina Plotnikova
Plotnikova's goal is to transport viewers to a fantastical wonderland. Photo Credit: Katerina Plotnikova
This stunning picture is reminiscent of Little Red Riding Hood. Photo Credit: Katerina Plotnikova
A model embraces a friendly fox. Photo Credit: Katerina Plotnikova
Photo Credit: Katerina Plotnikova
A beautiful contrast between the meek human and regal animal forms. Photo Credit: Katerina Plotnikova
Hedgehogs are also featured in the fantastical photo collection. Photo Credit: Katerina Plotnikova
Plotnikova effectively blurs the line between mystical and real. Photo Credit: Katerina Plotnikova
Photo Credit: Katerina Plotnikova
A bear gives one lucky model a big smooch. Photo Credit: Katerina Plotnikova
Photo Credit: Katerina Plotnikova
A model and fox cuddle up with each other on the grass. Photo Credit: Katerina Plotnikova
Photo Credit: Katerina Plotnikova
A fiery orange snake contrasts beautifully with this young girl's red hair. Photo Credit: Katerina Plotnikova
Photo Credit: Katerina Plotnikova
This giraffe shares a delicate nuzzle. Photo Credit: Katerina Plotnikova
Photo Credit: Katerina Plotnikova
"May I have this dance?" Photo Credit: Katerina Plotnikova

— Kayla Newcomer, exclusive to Global Animal

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