By Hannah Stevens @Hannahshewans
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Photographer Ingo Gerlach spent four days nestled in the woods waiting for the elusive family to show their furry faces.
These adorable brown bear cubs were born in January but they have remained largely hidden from public view for the last few months - luckily Gerlach’s patience was rewarded with this adorable sighting.
Embracing the May sunshine, the excitable cubs burst out of their cave den and went for a swim under the beady eyes of their protective mother.
After a competition, the young cubs were named Ralu and Luserl respectively.
Gerlach said: “It took some weeks before the bear led her offspring out of the cave for the first time. Meanwhile the bear cubs had grown big and are inspiring visitors from all over the world.
“Often the bear mama keeps well hidden in the bushes so she is hardly visible.
“She mostly does this because she wants to nurse her babies in peace.”
The new generation was born in a cave in the Tierfreigelände wildlife park near Neuschönau, Germany.
Encompassing swathes of the Bavarian Forest, the 200-hectare park houses various animal species, including brown bears and deer, in a near-natural environment.
Designed to allow the animals to roam free in the mountain forest, the park allows visitors to tour the park using a circular route, with all paths suitable for disabled tourists.
After carefully scanning the surroundings first, the mama bear led her cubs out of their cosy den and into the lush forest and the cubs made sure they took every opportunity to play.
Ingo said: “They came out of the bushes, walked to nearby water, raged and plodded about - all under the supervision of the mama bear.
“After bathing, they went straight to Mom’s breast to suckle and afterwards they raced and played around and even tried to rummage through a tree.”