Incredible photos taken in Finnish woods show the moment a brown bear decided to have some fun with a photographer.
Clasping its paws around a tree trunk, it thinks it is perfectly disguised as it plays hide and seek, certain nobody will sniff out its disguise.
But like most kids playing the game, it leaves a clue behind in the furry ears which poke out from either side, allowing photographer Jari Peltomaki to catch him in action.
Okay, so maybe it was just a coincidence and the bear was not in fact playing Peekaboo.
But whatever led up to it, the photos are stunning.
‘I pointed my camera towards him and almost immediately he popped out from behind the tree as if he was playing a game,’ Jari, aged 51, said.
‘I felt like if he could talk he would have said ‘peekaboo’ to me.’
He was sitting quietly in a hide-out in Suomussalmi in the heart of the Finnish forest, just near the Russian border, when he spotted his moment.
‘They can be quite aggressive creatures but when I saw this one hiding behind the tree, he looked really tame,’ he said.
Creeping up, he managed to get within a few metres of the bear as it was out searching for berries.
‘Shooting with the camera is so much more sustainable way of “hunting”‘, Jari said. ‘One bear can be photographed thousands of times but it can only be hunted once.
‘It was a privilege to see the bear this close up.’
Brown bears are the most widely distributed bear in the world and normally live to 25 years in the wild. Males can grow up to nine feet tall and weigh 1,200 pounds.