NatGeo photographer Paul Nicklen to talk about Arctic, polar bearshttp://www2.tbo.com/content/2011/jan/24/241223/natgeo-photographer-to-talk-about-arctic-polar-bea/life/
In a telephone interview Friday, he said he was already in Florida swimming with and photographing manatees at Crystal Springs. "Some of the other divers here are complaining about how cold it is, they should try diving in the Arctic," he joked.
He says this National Geographic Live! series is a first for Florida. "Most people will never see a polar bear in the wild so here's a chance to look at these magnificent animals," he says.
Some of Nicklen's other encounters include an amazing face-off with a female leopard seal, a powerful animal that could have easily killed him. But instead, she started offering him food, bringing him penguins that she had killed, This encounter and others can be seen on YouTube.
Nicklen, who is one of about 50 freelance photographers that work for National Geographic, says he is "not a tree-hugging environmentalist" but he does believe that the planet is warming up and the wildlife in Arctic is in danger.
"I want people to go away with a sense of appreciation for the wildlife that may disappear some day if the ice continues to melt," he says.Nicklen, who lives in Whitehorse, Yukon, with his wife, has tracked Stellar sea lions in the Aleutian Islands and dived with minke whales off Australia's coral reefs.