Three bear cubs were caught on high alert by a wildlife photographer in the wilds of Finland after seeing their mother bear do the same.
If imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, then the mama bear was certainly flattered. Just a few minutes earlier, her three cubs had been rough housing and playing, as baby bears will do.
The trio’s ears pricked up, however, as soon as they saw their mother on the lookout for danger from male bears in the woodlands surrounding them.
The dramatic photos were captured by British wildlife photographer Jules Cox, who holed up near the bears for 11 nights in order to capture them in their natural element.
“Male bears will try to kill any cubs to win the right to mate with her, so she is always on the lookout for any signs of danger,” Cox told the U.K.’s Daily Mail. “When mum stands up for a better view, the cubs copy her.”
The 24-hours of summer daylight in the area of Northern Finland, near the Russian border, where Cox was shooting allowed him to capture the bears in perfect light.
“They come out into the open swamp area from the forest to feed at night with their mum,” he said. “The cubs are pretty mischievous and full of fun and life at that age. They love climbing trees, play fighting and basically causing havoc.”