By Michael Scott
These polar bear cubs were almost tickled to death by their great play fight.
The bears appear to be having a fun tickle fight in the snow, rolling around and even showing toothy grins to each other.
After tumbling around in the snow and batting each other with giant paws, one bear eventually stood triumphantly over its sibling.
The two cubs were getting in some light-hearted practice during the play fight, but the skills they are honing will come in handy in serious territorial battles in the future.
The tickle fight was captured by Russian second mate on the expedition ship ‘Polar Pioneer’ Alexey Seafarer, who spotted them north of the Spitsbergen archipelago.
Alexey, 35, said: “Our job is to show the north off to tourists, so we especially searching for polar bears to show them. We were really lucky to find this mum and two cubs.
“It doesn’t happen often that we come across a mum with cubs, so we were delighted.
“When we first saw them they were eating a seal together and then the cubs started to play. The mother was watching on.
“We were about 50 metres away from them, but the clear weather made photographing them very easy.
“The mother glanced at us bit they did not take much notice of us. The bears don’t care about people much, and some of the younger ones will even come up close to sniff you because they are interested.
“We try to stay out of the way as much as possible.”