Inquisitive bear scales giant tree for the perfect paw-trait that took three years to capture
An inquisitive brown bear cub poses for a paw-trait 13ft up a tree.
The adorable snap was captured by Londoner Jamen Percy – and took three years to plan and execute.
The photographer travelled deep into the forests of the Kainuu wilderness area of Finland, close to the Russian border.
There he risked being attacked by wild hunting bears as he rigged his specifically designed equipment.
Jamen – armed only with three litres of honey strapped to his legs and a 5kg armoured camera box containing his equipment – bravely spur-climbed the trees as bears could be heard fighting over potential mating partners in the distance.
Once there, he quickly fastened his cameras – a Canon 5D MKIII and GoPro – into the armoured box in under eight minutes, before covering the trees bark in honey as he descended to attract bears.
And then the dedicated snapper lay in wait in an armoured hide ten metres away as the one-year-old cub climbed the tree to check out the camera.
Using a remote shutter, he was able to capture the perfect portrait as the bear sniffed the lens and licked the honey.
Jamen, who has now travelled to the remote forest three years in a row to perfect the shot, said: “I was testing the bears reactions to a foreign object on a tree.
“As you can see they were a little curious.
“A lot of engineering has gone into developing this shot. I want to demonstrate the incredible behaviour of the young bears ability to climb heights, which people tend not to know about.
“There aren’t too many people willing to climb a tree with no safety ropes with the added factor of wild bears roaming the area.
“While setting up the camera, I could hear terrifying roaring and thumping of bears fighting in the distance.
“It sends a chill down your spine when you know they are fighting over bait like that in your hands while you are stuck up a tree only 100 metres away.”
Despite capturing the incredible image earlier this year, Jamen admits he wants to top it next year.
He said: “I have been developing the technique for three years now. It is part of a personal project of mine to capture these bear cubs really high up in the tree.
“This years picture was only from four metres high, I’m hoping the next one can be from 20 metres.
“In the game of wildlife photography, great doesn’t cut it.
“Nature being unpredictable has made it very difficult to capture this exact image I have in mind, but I know the shot is there and I am determined to go one better next season.”