This is really worth watching: National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen’s encounter with a huge leopard seal in the Antarctic. Just amazing that a top predator in it’s range, on par with a polar bear decided to act in that manner toward the diver.
His upcoming book looks gorgeous, putting it on the top of my Xmas list.
This took place over a couple of days from what I remember him saying in the video, so he kinda had a choice. And the poor seal kept bringing him every kind of the live to dead spectrum of penquin she possibly could trying to get him to eat.
It’s pretty cool though, to think that something that terrifying could be so compassionate to another being, even if she thought it was one of her kind.
If it had of been me, by the way, the minute the seal enclosed my head and camera with her mouth, a heart attack and immediate evacuation of my bowels would have most likely occurred. That man has big stainless steel ones to stay after that.
This is what is so amazing to me in what went on between the seal and diver: over a period of days, she (leopard seal) decided to try to nurture rather than attack an interloper, when she had the obvious advantage, both in tooth and size. I’ve really been haunted by it for the past few days in viewing the film. What possible reason as a predator in a harsh climate should she want to nurture an interloper?
There was a progression of offerings: Here’s a penguin!.. OK… Here’s a weak penguin, got it? Nope, well, here’s a dead penguin, dummy! That progression of thought is tremendous. I don’t know that it is compassionate, but it certainly seems cognisant. That decision of what could easily be a viscous attack, then nurturing, just floors and haunts me.