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Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2017 – 13 Photos

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Bear hug
© Ashleigh Scully
After fishing for clams at low tide, this mother brown bear was leading her young spring cubs back across the beach to the nearby meadow. But one young cub just wanted to stay and play. It was the moment Scully had been waiting for. She had come to Alaska’s Lake Clark National Park intent on photographing the family life of brown bears. This rich estuary environment provides a buffet for bears: grasses in the meadows, salmon in the river and clams on the shore. A large number of families spend their summers here, and with plentiful food, they are tolerant of each other (though wary of males) and of people. “I fell in love with brown bears,” said Scully, “and their personalities… This young cub seemed to think that it was big enough to wrestle mum to the sand. As always, she played along, firm, but patient.” The result is a cameo of brown bear family life.

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