If you go down to the woods today: Bear cubs stand to attention as they frolic in Finland swamp
Christmas has come early in the Lapland wilderness for one lucky British wildlife photographer.
Three brown bear cubs in Northern Finland imitate their mother as she scans the horizon for dangerous males.
Ears pricked and wide-eyed, the cubs follow suit and stand on their hind legs for a better view of their surroundings.
The trio are only too aware that a male bear could emerge from the woods at any moment to attack them
The cubs stay close to their mother for extra protection as they walk through the swamp
‘They come out into the open swamp area from the forest to feed at night with their mum,’ said photographer Jules Cox of Bermondsey, London.
‘Male bears will try to kill any cubs to win the right to mate with her, so she is always on the look out for any signs of danger.
Cox stayed up overnight in a wooden hide to capture the brown bears as they frolicked in the midnight sun.
Finland’s 24-hours of summer daylight meant he could photograph the cubs in the cotton-grass swampland, even as night set in.
Playtime: Two energetic ear cubs have a wrestle to entertain themselves
The bears keep their eyes out for danger in the isolated wilderness of Northern Finland
A head for heights: One cub climbs a tree for a better vantage point
‘When mum stands up for a better view the cubs copy her,’ explained Cox.
The 41-year-old saw three mother bears and their litters over 11 nights in Northern Finland, close to the Russian border.
He added: ‘The cubs are pretty mischievous and full of fun and life at that age.
Large male bears such as this one have a reputation for killing a mother’s cubs so they can mate with her
A bear ponders over the best way to climb a tricky branch. Will the sloth-like approach be successful?