Curled up safely in cargo nets, these two polar bears are ready to be airlifted back to their hunting grounds.
Rangers had shot the creatures with tranquilliser darts when they strayed too close to the town of Churchill in the Canadian Arctic. Scroll down for more...
Up and away: The airlift begins
Six men were needed to lift the bears into the nets before they were taken on a 50-mile helicopter ride out on to the sea ice they usually call home.
Growing numbers of polar bears are scavenging in human settlements as rising sea temperatures destroy the ice floes they live and breed on.
Hungry and often below their 600lb healthy weight, they are attracted to towns by kitchen smells.
When bears are spotted, rangers try to scare them off with shots aimed above their heads.
Persistent offenders are tranquillised and locked up in Churchill's 'bear jail' where they are given only water for 30 days in the hope that they will keep clear of the town in future. If prison fails to work, the bears are knocked out again and taken to the local airstrip for the flight out on to the sea ice. Scroll down for more...
Sparring partners: Two young bears play on the snowy shores of Hudson Bay
The incursions have made Churchill, on the shores of Hudson Bay in Manitoba, an increasingly-popular destination for polar bear watchers.
Over the past 15 years, 700,000 square miles of ice have melted away and the once-healthy polar bear population has dropped from 1,200 to 900 in the national park around the town.
Dr Steve Amstrup, of the U.S. Geographical Survey, said: 'Growing numbers of hungry bears are moving into villages to look for food.
'They are stressed and so desperate that they venture into areas they don't usually go.' Scientists fear that polar bear numbers could drop by as much as two thirds over the next 50 years.
Rangers net themselves a couple of polar bears in dramatic animal rescue | the Daily Mail