Delightful Underwater Photos of Polar Bears Tumbling and Swimming

polar bear

In case our last post on polar bears got your heart beating a little faster, these delightful photographs of polar bears performing water ballet can’t be anything but entirely adorable. Russian photographer Olga Gladysheva captured the images of a polar bear cub as well as an adult merrily tumbling and diving into gorgeous blue waters at a Moscow Zoo in Russia. These photos are guaranteed to put a big smile on your face, as these two gentle creatures ham it up for the camera.

polar bear swimming

The polar bear cubs have been putting on a show for visitors at the Moscow Zoo since they arrived there in November 2011. Lucky for us, Olga Gladysheva captured several delightful images of these very camera-friendly mammals from the Arctic.

polar bear gliding

“I took these pictures when the cubs were already grown up. Together with their mother they were transferred to a more spacious open-air cage and bigger pool,” said Gladysheva to The Russian photographer has been observing these animals since March. The 37-year-old Gladysheva also recently photographed one of the polar bears skillfully juggling a red ball in another series.

Female polar bears normally have two cubs, although triplets can also be an occasional occurrence. Cubs have been known to stay with their mother as long as two-and-a-half years. Male adults can grow to weigh as much as 1,200 pounds and females can get as large as a hefty 650 pounds.

polar bear upside down

The polar bears at the zoo have a constant, captive audience. When they decide to take a dip, all the zoo visitors scamper to watch them frolic in the water, says Gladysheva.

“There are several windows where it is possible to watch for swimming and diving bear cubs. The bear cubs like to watch us from the other side of the window. The closer I stayed to a window, the closer they swam up.”

polar bear looking through glass

When these adorable bears are not absorbed with their visitors, they are constantly moving around, which makes it difficult for Gladysheva’s to get a hold of them with her lens.

“To take a photo of polar bear cubs, you need to shoot very quickly and run very quickly,” she shares.

head of polar bear

See more of Gladysheva’s other works by visiting her 500px profile.

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Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.