The moment a family of Grizzly bears went to cross a highway in Northern British Columbia has been captured in an extremely cute photograph.
Vancouver wildlife photographers Ian Harland and Liron Gertsman were driving on Highway 37, near Stewart, B.C., a small town next to Alaska, when they spotted the bears about 30 metres away.
The friends were at the start of a 23-day nature photography trip, through B.C. and the Yukon Territory, when they stopped to take pictures of the bears on June 30.
“We saw them by the side of the road and we were taking pictures from the car window,” Harland, who captured the photo using a Nikon D750 and Tamron 150-600mm zoom lens, said.
The 19-year-old said they parked further away from the bears to watch their movements.
“We always like to be respectful of the wildlife we’re photographing,” Harland explained.
“If they feel comfortable after time they slowly make their way towards us.”
In the photo, the three cubs can be seen peeking behind a bush and curiously gazing at something in the distance as their fierce mother leads the way across the highway.
“The cubs were super curious, they were funny,” Harland told Vancouver is Awesome.
He posted the photo to his Instagram account, which boasts 22.4k followers, July 2 and it has since had more than 6,600 likes.
The nature lover has been honing his photography skills over the past five years.
“I started because a few people in my family were also into photography and they had lots of leftover camera gear that they weren’t really using anymore,” he said.
“I started off photographing a lot of birds just around Vancouver and then eventually I started taking pictures of more types of wildlife.”
His favourite subjects to photograph now are predatory animals but his Instagram also features a range of critters including foxes, otters, goats and deer.
He said he fell in love with nature and photography while visiting wildlife sanctuaries in Vancouver.
He hoped his photography would inspire people to want to protect Canada’s beautiful wildlife.
“One of the reasons I really love doing this is to give people an appreciation of nature and wildlife that they may not encounter,” Harland said.
Follow Harland's adventures via his Instagram:@ianharlandphoto