Best Wildlife Photos of 2005 Announced

Best Overall Animal Photo, 2005: Bird Chase
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"Underwater World" Winner: "Leopard Seal Pass"
Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition, 2005
Natural History Museum, London, and BBC Wildlife Magazine


U.K. filmmaker George Duffield knew he was taking a risk when he came face to face with Antarctica's most feared predator, the inquisitive and sometimes aggressive leopard seal. One such seal killed a young Antarctic researcher two years ago.

Fortunately the 12-foot-long (3.6-meter-long) individual pictured only nipped at the photographer's diving fins as it swam around a small iceberg.

It's all about judging their mood, Duffield said. When they attack your rubber boat, you know it's best not to get in the water. And if a seal shows its teeth and blows bubbles, then you know you're in danger.

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Photograph courtesy the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition, organized by the Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine
—Photograph by George Duffield
 
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