Man dresses up in full bear costume to harass bear and her two cubs

A crowd had gathered to watch the female bear teach her two cubs how to fish

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Authorities in Alaska have said they want to talk to a man who was spotted wearing a full bear costume and harassing three real bears while they hunted for pink salmon in a river.

The incident happened at 7:30pm on Monday on the Chilkoot River near the town of Haines in the south of the state, according to Alaska Public Media.

What the man was trying to achieve is currently unknown, according to the Associated Press.

A crowd had gathered at the riverbed to watch the female bear teach her two cubs how to fish for salmon.

But the crowd, which was kept at a safe distance, watched as a man ran over to the bears donned in a full costume, complete with a bear head.

Lou Cenicola, who works for the Alaskan Fish and Game department, managed to move the sow away to safety and attempted to talk to the man who he said refused to identity himself.

He then got into his car and drove off without removing the costume head.

The head of the Fish and Game department said the incident could have ended tragically because a mother will not be put off attacking by a bear suit if she fills her cubs are in danger.

Megan Peters, spokeswoman for the State Troopers office, said an investigation has been launched and the man could potentially face wildlife harassment charges.

"This is not the first time we've encountered a man in a bear suit," she added.