By Dan Howlett @DanHowlett85

A VETERAN explorer and wildlife photographer captured the amazing moment a mother polar bear taught her cubs to swim

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Videographer / director: Amos Nachoum
Producer: Nick Johnson
Editor: Kyle Waters 

Swimming lesson: A mother bear swims with its cubs through the icy waters of north-east Canada

Amos Nachoum, 65, came face to face with the apex predator whilst diving off the coast of north-east Canada in August.

He said: “I was just feet away from one of the world’s best predators, I was so excited and thrilled that I had no time or space for fears.

Polar stare: A polar bear cub gazes at explorer Amos Nachoum as he photographs them from below

“I felt safe, as the bear family did not show any hesitation or change their behaviour when they spotted me.

“I wanted to do this to educate people to protect these beautiful animals and the wilderness they inhabit.

Polar bears are well-adapted to life in the water and many experts consider them a semi-aquatic species

“I’ve been in the company of ocean giants for 35 years and I have to say this is probably the most inspiring and empowering set of pictures I’ve ever taken.

“In fact it was the most thrilling moment of my life.”

Backstroke: The mother bear keeps her young close as they paddle through the water

Amos, who lives in California, attempted to take a similar set of pictures ten years ago with a single, male polar bear.

Unfortunately the bear perceived him as a threat and chased Amos to a depth of 75 feet.

Close encounter: Amos used his many years of experience to capture these amazing shots

Amos added: “I did not do my homework on that occasion and almost paid the ultimate price.

“This time I was ready.

“I had studied the bears for ten years since my last encounter and I was patient – waiting until exactly the right moment before I dived with them.

At last: Amos' last attempt to photograph polar bears this way ended with him being chased to a depth of 75ft

“I positioned myself on the path of the family of bears – around 200 yards away and watched them swim towards me.

“When they were around 20 feet away the female locked eyes with me and I submerged beneath them.

“I was calm throughout as the protective mother realised that I didn’t pose a threat so left me alone – it was magical.”

Delight: The intimate photographs of the polar bear were cause for celebration

Amos has previously taken up-close, underwater pictures of Nile crocodiles, anacondas, leopard seals, orcas, great white sharks and grizzly bears.

“For me the challenge comes from how I manage the risk,” added Amos.

“The risk comes only when people do not do their homework, when they don’t pay attention to mother nature or are in a rush to make a statement and get bragging rights.

A support team of Inuits, seasoned filmmakers and safety divers joined Amos on the expedition

“Of course there is always a calculated risk when you are swimming with these apex predators.

“But I study these animals and learn how to do it safely and enjoyably.

“I always leave myself the option to retreat and would not consider that a defeat.

“My knowledge and my patience are what keeps me alive.

Veteran: Amos Nachoum, 65, is an experienced explorer and wildlife photographer

"I consider risk and success management - as both of these things help to keep me alive."

A support team of Inuits, seasoned filmmakers and safety divers joined Amos on the expedition.

“People should never attempt to do this themselves,” added the veteran photographer, who has more than 35 years experience.

“It is very dangerous if you do not know what you are doing.”

To join Amos and his team on one of their expeditions visit www.biganimals.com