Several years ago, National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen recounted his most memorable experience shooting for the magazine -- an interaction with a massive, predatory leopard seal, who turned out to be one of the most caring creatures Nicklen ever encountered. According to National Geographic, Nicklen said that instead of attacking him and his colleagues, as he predicted she would, the seal tried to feed him and ensure his safety -- but not after trying to intimidate him first:
The animal had a head larger than a grizzly bear's, and it took his camera and his head into its mouth ... But instead of harming him, the seal began to "nurture" him. It began to bring him penguins, first alive, then dead, perhaps assuming that he was a "useless predator in her ocean."
Nicklen described his experience as one that "will stay with him forever." You can see his photographs of the encounter at National Geographic and describes the rest of his account in the video below. [Warning: graphic images]