Leopard Seal Encounter: An Arctic Adventure

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Originally from Saskatchewan, Paul Nicklen is a wildlife biologist and acclaimed nature photographer.  On all expeditions, Nicklen brings with him his scientific background.  He earned a degree in marine biology from the University of Victoria.

The leopard seal, a notoriously ferocious pinniped, is not a creature many willingly seek out.  But Paul Nicklen is not like most.  He approached these animals with courage and a necessary dose of respect on a National Geographic shoot in Antarctica.  During the shoot, Nicklen was in touch with his arctic roots, yet his close encounters with a leopard seal were unlike anything he’d experienced.  For four days during the shoot, one particular seal took an interest in Nicklen, befriending him and offering him penguins to eat as if he was unable to feed himself.  This nurturing image contrasts starkly with what we previously believed these animals to be like, and demonstrates how little we truly know about them.

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