Leopard seals, the second largest species of seal in Antarctica, are large predators with razor sharp teeth, surprising speed and great agility. Thanks to their size, strength, and ferocity, they are firmly established as one of the region’s top predators, and definitely aren’t something to be messed with. So, when a photographer from National Geographic got a whole lot closer to a leopard seal than he had planned, he was understandably nervous...until something wonderful happened.
Not only is it surprising to see a ferocious predator display such affection, it’s even more unexpected given that leopard seals are usually solitary creatures. Seeing a natural loner interact and care for another species in such a way is simply heartwarming.
That was so cool to watch. I will say though, as jealous as I am of the photographer for having the courage (and the sheer luck) to have such an encounter, I think I’m staying on dry land after seeing those teeth up close!