Boxing bears may be just playing now, but they will grow up to be heavyweights


Bear knuckle action: A bear cub lands a left paw slap on his sibling's cheek at the Katmai National Park in Alaska

This stunning photograph shows a bear cub slapping his sibling on the jaw with his left paw as the pair spar with each other on a river bank.
The adorable image of the two animals play fighting was taken on the shores of the Brooks River in Katmai National Park, Alaska.
There’s some fancy footwork going on as well as the two one-year-olds scrap.
Ensuring they don't get too out of hand, the cubs remain under the watchful eye of their heavyweight 24-stone mum – whose experience makes her the perfect referee.
The bears were playing by the water source while their mother took advantage of the abundant salmon.

Just fur laughs: Mum keeps a watchful eye in the long grass as the two animals have fun by the water's edge. Her massive frame and years of experience make her the ideal person to ensure the play fight doesn't escalate

As well as fighting with each other the lively youngsters were also picking up fishing tips from their mother so they will be able to build up fat reserves required for long months of hibernation.

Watching and learning: The bears also picked up fishing tips from their mother as she set about catching the abundant salmon in the river

Wildlife photographer Eric Baccega, 50, who spotted the family, said: 'Bear cubs this age play all the time.
'They're a joy to watch, but you have to be careful.'
He said things could prove nasty, even fatal, if a person gets caught up in the moment and forgets about their own safety.
He added: 'I was thrilled to be so close - and fortunately their mother tolerated me being there.'

Bear necessities: The furry cubs were in playful mood as they frolicked by the river. Rising to their hind legs to get a better view of their beautiful surroundings

Capturing nature: Wildlife photographer Eric Baccega spotted the family on the river bank. He said bear cubs were a joy to watch but that their size always demands respect

Happy family: Lesson over, the three young bear cubs and their mother climb back up the banks of the river and get on their way

source: dailymail