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Top predator has a caring side for photographer

A National Geographic photographer jumping into the waters around Antarctica to photograph a Leopard Seal isn't really anything new but what happened after he entered the water is.

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Paul Nicklen meets a Leopard Seal
An example of what can be seen in the video.
Paul Nicklen was in Antarctica trying to photograph Leopard Seals. While searching he spotted a rather large, female Seal and slipped into the water to photograph it. Terrified at what might happen, Paul swam up to the Seal and she immediately dropped the Penguin she was carrying, opened her jaws and took Paul's camera and head into her mouth, demonstrating threatening displays at the same time. But as the video clip shows, this is where the threatening behaviour ends. Amazingly, instead of biting the Seal got hold of a live penguin and tried to feed Paul.

"I think she realised I was a useless predator in her ocean, probably going to starve to death," said Paul in the video. "I think she became quite panicked and started trying to feed me weak Penguins, then dead Penguins, then she started showing me how to eat the Penguins and pushed them into my camera which I think she thought was my mouth."

This unusual behaviour carried on for four days and Paul says it's an experience he'll never forget: "I had a top predator take care of me and nurture me. It's the most amazing experience as a National Geographic photographer I've ever had."


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