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National Geographic  Life is an adventure - enjoy the ride and the world through the eyes of National Geographic photographers.

In honor of Big Cat Week, National Geographic caught up with six photographers to ask them about their most memorable experiences in the wild, here Clint Mecham sits on the forest floor with a sedated mountain lion in the Monroe Mountains, Utah, in 2016.
Photograph by David Chancellor @chancellordavid for @natgeo

Over 30 years, Clint Mecham, a predator specialist from the State of Utah Department of Natural Resources, has collared more than 400 mountain lion, monitoring the health and population of the species.
This is No. 53, a veteran of the group, who’s played a major role in the study for more than 14 years. Now that the study is coming to a close, the female lion will be released without a collar for the first time in her adult life. It’s also the last time Clint will see this lion alive. Shortly after its release, Mecham was notified by conservation officers [that No. 53 had been killed as a trophy]. What I found interesting about this particular lion and this particular gentleman was the extraordinary history that they shared. For the entire 14 years she’s been in continual combat with Clint. Each time a collar has needed changing, it’s fallen to Clint to undertake the task, and the lion has made her feelings known with tooth and claw.

This time was somewhat different.
The lion was calm and almost accepting of Clint; it’s as if she knew her time was up and the collar would not be refitted. Clint also knew all too well that the collar perhaps offered her a small amount of safety.
There was a bond here, an understanding between two warriors…now was the time to say goodbye.
Find all six of these extraordinary stories here:
huge thanks to Jessie Wender @jmwender @natgeo for putting this together so powerfully.

#mountainlion #utah #usa @natgeo #bigcatweek #bigcats #cougar #conserving #conservation #cowboys @hellokiosk @artfuldodgersimaging @bwyanoleary @francescamaffeogallery @kinetic_six

Photograph by Stefano Unterthiner @stefanounterthiner.

A young Sulawesi crested black macaque is eating a fruit while its mother is doing some grooming. A day in the life of these social monkeys includes moseying through the forest of the Tangkoko Nature Reserve, eating, grooming, and lollygagging. Poaching and deforestation are responsible for the monkeys’ population declines.
Shot on assignment for @natgeo for the upcoming Magazine story ‘A Fight for Survive’ (March issue)

Follow me @stefanounterthiner to see more images from my personal projects and my work with @natgeo. Thanks!
#IUCN #redlist #Sulawesi #macaque #eating #mother #ecotourism #young #forest

Photo by @stephenwilkes: Soft sunlight shining down on the warm beaches of Rio on a quiet weekday in Brazil.
I traveled to Rio de Janeiro last month to capture the city for my series, Day to Night. Follow me @stephenwilkes to see more images from my trip.
#StephenWilkes #DayToNight #Ipanema #Rio #RiodeJaneiro #Brazil

Photo by @GerdLudwig. In the living room of her small apartment in Moscow, Angelina, a cosplayer, is posing in the roll of Katrina from the Book of Life. Cosplay, a shortening of the words costume and play, is a performance art during which participants wear costumes, masks, and accessories to depict specific characters. The photograph is an outtake from my recent story on the Putin Generation, which examines the attitudes and outlooks of young people in Russia. It was published in the December issue of @natgeo. Instagram now has a new feature making it possible to post multiple images as a gallery. View my latest post using this new feature to see more cosplayers in Moscow @GerdLudwig.

@thephotosociety @natgeocreative @theimagereview #Russia #Moscow #cosplay #youth #costume #apartment #portrait #PutinGeneration

photo by @brianfinke featured in the February cover story, The Birth of Booze. A Chinese newlywed toasts her guests with a traditional cup of rice wine. The drink has been consumed in China for at least 9,000 years; a chemical residue found in a jar of that age is the oldest proof of a deliberately fermented beverage. But the influence of alcohol probably extends even deeper into prehistory.

@stevewinterphoto @natgeo
BIG CAT WEEK is on NG WILD - #bigcatweek
I am excited to bring my NG LIVE presentation, “On the Trail of Big Cats” to @natgeo’s Grosvenor Theater in Washington DC on April 13th! Please come to hear about my life and work with Jaguars, Snow Leopards, Cougars and Tigers!!
14 months old tiger cubs at their waterhole in Bandhavgargh National Park in India. This is a short film put together using camera trap images.

We need to realize deep in our hearts that animals have emotions too. If we can treat them better - maybe we could find some empathy inside of us to treat each other better also.
There are only 3400 tigers left in the wild! We need to fight for the right of tigers to live - peacefully and without being killed for the traditional medicine market, tiger bone wine, tiger skin furniture and other trade. Help stop the demand for endangered species used in this practice! “When the buying stops, the killing can too” #wildaid
Our animal family is so much like us - they find mates, they have kids, they have to feed themselves and their families,
they feed themselves and their families in the same way we as humans used to! If we can find a way to believe they think, feel and have emotions, maybe we can treat them better and find a way to ensure their future on this planet.
They are keystone species in their ecosystems, though we as humans are not.
Join National Geographic's Big Cat Initiative, #bigcatsforever
Follow me @stevewinterphoto to other images and thanks!
@stevewinterphoto @natgeo @nglive #nglive @natgeochannel @natgeowild @thephotosociety @natgeocreative #fursforlife #BCI #bigcatsintiative #startwith1thing @projetooncafari @refugioecologicocaiman @pantheracats @pantanalsafaris #canonusa #redcine @africanparksnetwork

Video by @joelsartore | A group of endangered Perdido Key beach mice exploring their surroundings.
As their name implies, these mice inhabit prime real estate- ocean front property along the Gulf of Mexico. For decades, these beach mice have struggled to persist as sand dunes turned into high-rise condominiums and hurricanes repeatedly flattened and scoured their 16-mile long island. This species most recently teetered on extinction following an active hurricane season in 2004, but now beach mouse populations are currently at a 30-year high, with over 600 individuals. Conservation actions and Endangered Species Act protections must continue, as the next struggle may be just one hurricane season away.
To see a portrait of these mice snuggling together, check out @joelsartore!
#mice #perdidokey #cuteanimals #smallanimals #photoark #endangeredspecies #animalconservation #natgeo

Photos and videos by @dguttenfelder | Scenes from the Viking and Slav festival in Wolin, Poland and Viking historical sites in Ribe & Trelleborg, Denmark. Swipe left to see more photos from my story on Vikings featured in the latest issue of @natgeo. #MyVikingLife

Vanished for centuries, Vikings still capture our imaginations, but how much do we truly know? Did you know that they had women warrior commanders and traveled to more than 50 cultures as distant as Afghanistan and Canada?
These medieval seafarers and warriors live on in the invented worlds of filmmakers, novelists, and comic book artists. Today most of us can reel off details of these imagined Vikings- how they fought and feasted, where they lived, how they died. But how much do we really know about the Vikings? Who were they, how did they see the world, and what were their lives truly like? Now, with advanced technology- from satellite imagery to DNA studies and isotope analysis- archeologists and other scientists are coming up with many surprising new answers. -Heather Pringle / National Geographic

For our March 2017 National Geographic cover story, "New Visions of the Vikings”, photographer @robertclarkphoto shows us the revealing archeological sites, sleek wooden ships, ornate treasures, and stunning weapons. Photographer @dguttenfelder traveled to massive Viking battle reenactments, in Wolin, Poland and reconstructed living history Viking sites across Denmark, to show the public’s ongoing fascination with Vikings and to try to bring Viking history to life.

Photograph by @simonnorfolkstudio The Kronotsky Nature Reserve, a biosphere reserved for the study of natural sciences in the Russian Far East, on the coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula. Created in 1934, it extends to over 10,000 sq km (more than 4000 sq mi). It has Russia's only geyser basin, plus several mountain ranges with numerous volcanoes, both active and extinct. Due to its often harsh climate and its mix of volcanoes and geysers, it is frequently described as the Land of Fire and Ice. The reserve is mainly accessible only to scientists, plus around 3,000 tourists each year who pay approximately US$700 to travel by helicopter for a single day's visit. Kronotsky Nature Reserve has been proclaimed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Follow @simonnorfolkstudio for updates, outtakes, unpublished and archive material.
@instituteartist @michaelhoppengallery @benrubi_gallery @galleryluisotti @natgeo @thephotosociety #landscape #simonnorfolk #Kamchatka #камчатка #russia #Кроноцкий #biosphere #naturalworld #unesco #worldheritagesite @Kronotskyreserve
#forest #pinetree #instagramrussia #snow #fineartphotography #Kronotsky #Kronotskyreserve #visualarchitects @bookmarkcontent

Photo by @daviddoubilet My partner Jennifer Hayes works in the garden of icebergs near Red Island in Scoresbysund Fjord. Icebergs are the perfect metaphor for the sea, only a small fraction is visible to our human eye. Sadly these beautiful formations are produced by the ugly retreat of Greenlands glaciers. We look forward to returning to Greenland in August to continue to document raw and remote world on the brink of change. With @natgeo @natgeocreative #ocean #polar #greenland #iceberg #extreme #beauty #elysiumartistforarctic for #moreocean follow @jenniferhayesig and @daviddoubilet

Photo by @johnstanmeyer

If you are going to have a wedding, let it be herald with large brass karnay horns, traditional Khorezmian music entering in procession to the Old City of Khiva, Uzbekistan.

Visit @yulia_grigoryants on Instagram and follow for behind the scenes photos of our overland car journey through Uzbekistan, part VI of the unique decade long @outofedenwalk story for @natgeo.

#onassignment @natgeo @natgeocreative @outofedenwalk @thephotosociety #uzbekistan #khiva #karnay #horn #khorezmian #khorezm #music #bride #groom #wedding #NGSilkRoad

hamar warrior, Omo river valley, Ethiopia, photograph by David Chancellor @chancellordavid from continued work documenting the effect construction of the Gibe III dam is having on the indigenous communities of the Omo River valley, Ethiopia. To see more of my personal work, and projects, visit @natgeo or @chancellordavid #omorivervalley #kara #hamar #gibeiiidam #humanzoo @kinetic_six @forrangers