Close encounters of the whale kind

By Guido Trombetta on 7:08 AM , ,

Photograph by Brian Skerry / © National Geographic Society. All rights reserved

In the previous post I've shown you some of the winner images of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year, a competition organized by the Natural History Museum of London and BBC Wildlife Magazine. Among all those wonderful images of wild animals one of the most emphatic was the winner of the underwater section, called "First Encounter". This picture by the american photographer Brian Skerry it's part of a reportage made for the National Geographic Magazine about a "pristine population" of southern right whales, discovered just ten years ago off New Zealand's Auckland Islands.
'Swimming with a 14-metre-long, 70-tonne whale, off the Auckland Islands, New Zealand, was the single most incredible animal encounter I have ever had. It was probably memorable for the southern right whale, too, which became fascinated by my dive buddy. Almost certainly the whale had never encountered humans under water, and was as curious about us as we were about it

Photograph by Brian Skerry / © National Geographic Society. All rights reserved

Right Whales are called this way because whalers thought they were the "right" ones to hunt, as they float when killed and often swim within sight of the shore. Populations were vastly reduced by intensive harvesting during the active years of the whaling industry. Today, instead of hunting them, people often watch these acrobatic whales for pleasure but they are still endangered mainly for the collisions with ships' screws.

Photograph by Brian Skerry / © National Geographic Society. All rights reserved

Photograph by Brian Skerry / © National Geographic Society. All rights reserved

Photograph by Brian Skerry / © National Geographic Society. All rights reserved

Click here to see the other pictures of this fantastic National Geographic Magazine reportage.
The pictures I've posted are also downloadable in the wallpapers section of the NGM site (look for October 2008). An amazing source of beauty!


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    Unbelievably beautiful animals!


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  3. Anonymous'> January 24, 2010 at 5:42 AM

    Keep on posting such stories. I like to read stories like this. By the way add more pics :)


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    I've dreamed about the first picture, and now I found it. I really hope these incredible animals will survive!


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