At first glance, this bear looks like she has taken a shine to the bark of the tree she is lazing about in.
But the amusing image is in fact the creature's best attempt at stifling a yawn as she woke up from a snooze at Miami Zoo in Florida.
Photographer Adrian Tavano captured Kala, a 19-year-old Malayan sun bear, as she emerged from a nap and opened her mouth.
Sun bears usually employ their tongue, which can reach up to ten-inches, to eat termites hidden deep inside trees.
Mr Tavano, 39, from Miami, said: 'The bear exhibit is very nice and visitors have a clear view of the animals.
'Kala loves to sleep on top of this tree, which was about 20 metres from where I was.
'I think she had just woken up and had a yawn, so she is not licking the tree but it looks like it.'