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Polar bear family captured fleeing for their lives in dramatic photographs after young cubs caught the eye of a hungry male


Danger on the horizon: The huge male polar bear (circled) pokes his head out from behind a chunk of ice as he watches the mother and her two cubs

A polar bear family swims for their lives after the cubs caught the eye of a hungry male bear.
Tourists travelling aboard a Russian sightseeing icebreaker got a front row seat as the dramatic, and deadly, chase unfolded.
The images were captured by British tour guide and photographer Paul Goldstein at Spitsbergen in Norway.
They begin with a first sighting of the mother and two youngsters swimming in formation towards the boat.

Let's get out of here: The three bears plunge into the water to escape the hungry male

Paul, from Wimbledon, explains: 'A mother and cubs, about 18 months old, swam right under the bow.
'We did not know at the time that they were being pursued by an old male, a very dangerous situation for the family.

Swim for it: The dramatic chase was witnessed by tourists on a sightseeing expedition Spitsbergen in Norway

Can't keep up: The old male polar bear was not fast enough to catch the family

Quick snack: Despite their flight from the male polar bear, the family still managed to make their way to eat another bear's kill

'They continued their swim right under the ship. It was then we saw a huge old battle-scarred male appear wanting to make breakfast out of the yearling cubs.
'When he showed its battered old head above the turquoise parapet all hell broke loose.
'Despite their flight from the male polar bear, the bear family did stop to eat another bear's kill.
'However dangerous, the bear is continuously thinking of winter hibernation and will rarely, if ever, ignore the chance of a feed whatever the circumstances.

source: dailymail