As the early morning sun glinted through the leaves deep within the heart of the Bavarian forest, two wide-eyed little creatures emerged from the dark cave they had called home for the first few precious months of their lives.

Tentatively they took their first steps into this strange new world. Unfamiliar sights, sounds and smells bombarded their senses, almost overwhelming them as they cautiously crept outside for the very first time.

Under the careful gaze of their loving mother, the two bear cubs padded across the mossy forest floor towards a stream, glimmering with dancing light. What was this strange new thing? There was only one way to find out …

Deep in a nature park situated in a forest in the German province of Bavaria, the public recently got their first glimpse of a truly magical sight. Two young bear cubs, sheltered away from prying eyes in a cave, made their first steps into an unfamiliar world.

This was the moment highly-respected wildlife photographer Ingo Gerlach (pictured above) had been patiently waiting 4 long days to witness. And his patience was more than rewarded when the mother and her cubs emerged from their hiding spot and tentatively made their way down to the river.

Ingo had carefully concealed himself for this precious and very special moment. He didn’t want the mother bear to spot him and gather her cubs up and return to the safety of her cave. He wanted to see these cute little guys take their first splash in the river.