The female Alaskan brown bear had just done her two young cubs a favor and left them playing and wrestling on the river bank after fishing for them.
However, when she saw a hazardous bear threatening her children, the 600-pound mother was quick to react.
With all four paws off the ground, she tears through the sand and sprays to chase down a thinner competitor.
The mother returned to resting with her cubs on the riverbank once she had successfully shielded them.
The beautiful photograph was taken by photographer Harold Klein of Oregon, who was accompanying a PhotoAdventureWorkshops trip to Katmai National Park in Alaska.
Harold, 62, said: “This is a desperate ‘run for your life’ situation caused by a bear encroaching on the young cubs of a 600lbs, ferociously protective Alaskan brown bear mum.
“I was so excited by the fact that I happened to catch mum, the bear in pursuit of the intruder ‘flying’ with all four feet off the ground at the same instant.
“We’d been sitting in a group on the beach for some time taking photographs of bears with fish, magnificent views, and playing cubs.”
“One day, a mother and her cubs entered our territory. We followed as mother caught fish and shared them with her children before departing them to themselves.”
When the second bear came closer to the cubs, this other one moved in, and on its third approach, the chase erupted in front of us with water, gravel, and sand flying everywhere.
These photographs give you a peek into the daily life of an Alaskan brown bear family, which includes a mother and her two spring cubs.
“Life is intimate and sensitive when mum is resting or nursing her cubs, amusing when the cubs are wrestling, but it soon fades into terrorizing, life-threatening situations for the family.”