Scottish Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead got up close and personal with a flippered friend during a visit to a safari park.
Mr Lochhead had a lesson in recycling from Poppy, one of four sea lions at Blair Drummond Safari and Adventure Park near Stirling.
The sea lions are the stars of a show teaching visitors how to avoid littering by retrieving objects from a pool and dropping them in recycling tubs.
The park introduced new recycling facilities last year that have led to a 41% reduction in its landfill waste.
Mr Lochhead, visiting the park during Recycle Week, said: "The sea lion show is a great way for kids to learn about recycling and to encourage future generations to make green choices, helping us to look after nature, wildlife and our environment.
"With the Recycle on the Go facilities now within the safari park, there really is no excuse for people, young and old, not to get involved. And there's been a 41% reduction in the amount of waste sent to landfill from the park, which is great news for our environment.
"As the sea lions have shown us, recycling is so simple. Over 40% of Scotland's household waste is now recycled, but we can all do more."
Dave Warren, the park's education officer, said: "Everyone needs to do their bit to reduce their own environmental impact. The education team and sea lion department are working hard to drive home these very important messages in a fun and engaging way."