\By Ian Hinchliffe and Bethany Gleave

This is the surprising moment two polar bears appeared to stop mid-fight to give each other a loving squeeze.

The image, captured by Igor Azkargorta, 51 shows the two polar bears with their arms wrapped round each other and faces nuzzled into each other’s fur, despite fighting only minutes before.

Traveler and photographer Igor captured the stunning images of the bears in Churchill, Canada.

Igor said: “I love photographing polar bears they are really curious animals.

Igor Altuna/Mercury Press

“Churchill is well known for its polar bear population and it is a great place to go and photograph them.

“This particular time there were around 20 polar bears there.

“The younger bears were playing but the mothers were defending their offspring from other bears.

“When the bears were fighting I was surprised by the amount of force they used.”

As well as photographing the polar bears in Churchill, Igor from Mondragón, Basque Country, also likes to travel the world photographing wildlife.

Igor said: “My favourite place to take photographs is Botswana and it was my first trips to Africa 20 years ago that inspired me to photograph wildlife.

“My favourite animals to photograph are Lycaons a type of wild dog.

“I like to dedicate myself to travelling and taking pictures and there are lots of other places like Japan, Galapagos and the Falkland Islands that I still want to travel to.”