The Digital Journalist
©Paul Nicklen for National Geographic Magazine
Arctic Ice Edge -- Leopard seals have always had a fierce reputation. In 2003, a scientist was killed by a leopard seal while conducting underwater research, fueling this bad reputation. Normally, we judge animals at their worst moments. For this story, we set out to discover if they are truly as dangerous as reported. We swam with countless seals over three weeks. One very large female leopard seal in particular befriended me, tried to teach me how to hunt and then tried to feed me penguins on a daily basis. She found me to be a terrible student but we built a very wonderful bond that will stay with me forever.