By Shannon Lane @shannonroselane

AN inquisitive polar bear proves that even one of the deadliest mammals on earth has a playful side

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This dangerous predator approached the boat out of curiosity

Photographer Andy Rouse captured the polar bear playing with a rope when aboard a moored ship in Svalbard, Norway.

The polar bear isn't sure what to make of the boat's rope at first

He said: "We just decided as we often do, to put the ship into the ice and then switch off and wait for bears to come.

The polar bear had fun rolling in the cold snow

"Obviously the boat is something big and something interesting. The polar bears are inquisitive by nature, so they just come and have a look.

The green rope caught the attention of the curious bear

"The engines are switched off and there’s no noise. You can hear the polar bear walking on the ice below, you can hear it breathing, it’s just amazing to be there on the ice with it.

An adult polar bear may reach more than 10 feet tall when standing
The inquisitive polar bear enjoyed playing with the rope

"To be eye - to - eye with this incredible survivor.”

As the world’s largest land-based carnivore, this particular polar bear appears far less threatening as it mischievously plays with the boat’s mooring rope.

Not even the polar bear's powerful jaws could cut the rope

Andy said: “When you put the ship into the ice sometimes it can drift out, so that’s when you put the rope into the ice to hold you in place.

Photographer Andy Rouse said: "It was funny from start to finish."

"People obviously know that the polar bear is an incredibly dangerous animal, but when you see it relaxed and having a great time, it really makes you feel good inside.

Despite its cuddly appearance, polar bears are one of nature's most dangerous animals

"It’s one thing seeing these animals, and another seeing them so relaxed and having so much fun.”

According to the Norwegian Polar Institute there are approximately 3,500 polar bears in the Svalbard area.

Playtime is exhausting!

The mammals are protected by law, meaning there are no polar bear specific safaris or tours available on Svalbard - which made Andy’s sighting especially special.

He added: "It was one of those encounters that made me laugh the most, it was funny from start to finish."