Remarkable images of polar bears paddling with children have been released to help reduce hunting of the enormous beasts.

children swim with polar bearsThe carnivores loom over their bite-size pool companions in what looks like an imminent disaster, but there is more to the situation than meets the eye. The optical illusion is created at a Canadian holiday resort where children are encouraged to swim with the world’s largest land predator.

All that separates them is a 25cm (10in) thick sheet of glass installed by bosses at Cochrane Polar Bear Habitat near Ontario.

The aim of the set-up is to help raise understanding of the creatures and reduce hunting in the wild. The bears in the enclosure, Aurora and Nikita, arrived as cubs from Hudson Bay after a hunter shot their mother.

story via Arbroath