Rescued Polar Bear Pictured 'Laughing' With Her Cub In Cute Pictures

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A mother polar bear is pictured 'laughing' with her cub - an especially poignant sight as she was found as a cub alone and abandoned in the middle of the Arctic.

Photographer Natalia Okoneshnikova captured images of Kolymana, an eight-year-old mother who lives with her two cubs at the Orto-Doydu Zoo in Yaktusk, Russia, the coldest zoo in the world.

At the end of March, Natalia and her family were at the zoo when the priceless moments occurred.

Natalia, normally a successful food photographer, explains: "When else will polar bears pose for you so long, diligently and directly? Or rather, a mother and child, who hugged and frolicked right in front of my camera, under my nose. This happens infrequently, a coincidence. They have a fairly large aviary with a pool, and they usually walk somewhere in the distance. In the summer, the bears are grimy or wet after swimming, in the winter it is foggy, and in the spring, on the snow, they are white and clean! Plus, such a good morning light, they came so close, in a great mood - Mom even clapped her hands."

On April 12, 2012, a bear patrol discovered a lonely polar bear cub in the middle of the Arctic desert. This alarmed the rescuers, and for some time they watched the baby's movements, but its mother never showed up. Rescuers took the bear and named her Kolymana after the river where she was found. She was nursed back to health for several months and later homed in the Yakutsk zoo. Kolymana has since given birth to two cubs, the first in 2017 and the other one in 2020.

In this picture: Mother bear Kolymana is on the right of the frame.