Wildlife photographer Amos Nachoum, 65, has been on a quest to capture polar bears in their natural environment for most of his 35-year career.
But it wasn't until August 2015 that the veteran explorer got the shot of a lifetime while on an expedition in Baffin Island.
Nachoum's stunning photographs do, however, come at a risk. The photographer, who has taken underwater stills of Nile crocodiles, anacondas, leopard seals, orcas, great white sharks and grizzly bears, got his first shot at photographing a swimming polar bear 10 years ago, but the mission became quite dangerous when the male bear perceived Nachoum as a threat.
"10 years ago when I did dive for the first time with a polar bear it came after me to 75 feet and I had to escape deep to protect myself…yes, I was scared and my fear propelled me to find out and learn what was my mistake? What I can do different to get positive result and show the other aspect of Polar bear that humanity does not know…," Nachoum wrote on his Facebook page.
The second time around proved to be much more successful, with Nachoum admitting he studied the animal closely after his first encounter.
"I positioned myself on the path of the family of bears - around 200 yards away and watched them swim towards me. When they were around 20 feet away the female locked eyes with me and I submerged beneath them," he explained.
Reflecting on his first polar bear adventure, Nachoum realizes he made a mistake by going in the water with the bear alone. "People should never attempt to do this themselves. It is very dangerous if you do not know what you are doing."
These days, Nachoum leads wildlife tours as president of BigAnimals Expeditions. As a nature and animal lover, Nachoum also spends his time giving talks to raise awareness about the preservation of the ocean and its inhabitants.
With their population steadily decreasing and their inability to successfully hunt, the World Wildlife Fund has deemed polar bears as vulnerable for extinction.
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