This is the adorable moment when two brown bear cubs were spotted climbing on their mum to make the journey across deep water.
The family of Alaskan brown bears were attempting cross the water in Lake Clark National Park, Alaska, with their mother giving the two youngsters a helping paw.
The cubs can be seen clinging on with their teeth and claws for the potential perilous trip, but their mother is happy to oblige to help them cross safely.
Photographer Pattie Walsh, who runs GP Walsh Photography & Photo Tours with her husband George, was conducting an excursion with a group of photographers who wanted the opportunity to snap the bears in their natural habitat, when she spotted the amazing sight.
Mrs Walsh said: “A mother bear was about to cross some high water.
“The mother bear and the cubs all looked apprehensive.”
“The sow allowed the two cubs to climb up on her back and she would swim across carrying them both.
“They held on tightly. You could see them gripping with their claws and teeth to her back.”
The husband and wife team have been together photographing wildlife from across the world for the last 15 years, which has seen them capture pictures as varied as horses frolicking in Arizona’s Salt River, to Leopards on the prowl in Namibia.
However, the photo of the bear cubs clinging to their mother holds particular significance to Mrs Walsh, who said: “I always enjoy capturing photos of wildlife families interacting, showing their personalities, their close bonds, and the loyalty of their family unit.”
She adds that it’s not the first time she has seen such caring and loving devotion from parents out in the wild, saying: “It is heartwarming to see how nurturing and devoted this mother bear was to her cubs.
“We have witnessed this caring behaviour from many wild animals.
“Whether it is a grizzly bear, a lion, baboons, or a wild horse we have seen how the babies are the top priority in the families. They will defend and protect to the end.”