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Up Close With the Bears of Sakhalin in Russia's Far East

On a trip to Sakhalin, a Russian island north of Japan, two men headed out for an adventure. The men soon spotted a number of bears just a few meters away — and tried to slip past in the water unnoticed.

"We almost drowned, the river was deep," Livejournal user Dmitry wrote. "We got out, and the bears noticed us all at once."

Some left, some mused silently and others still were frozen in shock. "It's as if they were saying, 'What is this next to us?' or 'What should I do now?'" Dmitry recalled.

Taking their cue from the bears, who all remained calm, the two men continued on their way, snapping photos of their newfound companions as they went.

Here are some of their best shots: