Two cute grizzly bear cubs have been snapped taking a ride on mom's back as she transports them safely across a river.

Pictures show the small six-month-old cubs looking hungrily at their 500lb mum as she eats a clam before they clamber onto mum's back for the journey across the water.

Other playful shots show the pair of 30lb cubs enjoying some play time as they fight and wrestle with each other on the sandy beach.

The images were captured at Silver Salmon Creek, in Lake Clark National Park, Alaska by elementary school teacher Ian Stotesbury, 37, from Vancouver.

'My wife and I were walking on the beach heading back towards our tent and we got to the mouth of the creek and mom and the cubs were there,' he said.

'We were surprised to see them and mum was not too comfortable with us being around. She actually headed our way slowly to push us away. She wasn't threatening but her body language was clear. We gave her some distance.

Ian hopes his photographs can help people appreciate animals in their natural habitat without disturbing them.

'It saddens me that in British Columbia we still allow people to trophy hunt,' he said.

'I hope my images help people see that these animals are struggling to survive and we are constantly encroaching or their environment.

'It's tough enough out there and they don't need people chasing them around with guns to help serve their ego.'

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