By Leon Watson
These in-your-face polar bear pictures are the closest most of us get to one of nature's most powerful predators.
The heart-warming images show the curious white creatures as they investigate the camera held by one brave wildlife photographer - before they jump into the water with him.
Other shots show a male standing upright like a human with its arms outstretched, just like it was waving down a taxi.
The incredible pictures were taken by veteran nature photographer Steven Kazlowski, 43, from New York.
Explaining how he was able to approach the man-eaters without becoming lunch, he said: 'I never got close to them, in fact it was the polar bears themselves that got close to me.
'The young bears were especially interested.'
Requiring months of preparation, Mr Kazlowski's expedition was a far cry from the day trips most wildlife photographers take.
He added: 'I managed to take my pictures by working with native guides. I had to wait for months at a time in a location where I knew there would eventually be animals present.'
The images were taken in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, along the Arctic Coast of Alaska.
But while there are currently around 20,000 wild bears living in the Arctic Circle, their numbers are rapidly falling.
That number could be cut by two thirds by mid century if the Arctic continues to warm due to climate change, as many experts predict.
In 2008, the US government declared polar bears an endangered species and banned all American hunters from returning from Canada with their trophies.
Norway is the only country that has banned all hunting for the species, with Russia, Alaska and Greenland allowing native communities to hunt the bears as a food source.