Up close with animals living at Earth's poles

Swimming with Polar Bears

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polar bear photo

credit: Paul Souders

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Paul Souders is a wildlife photographer who has traveled the globe documenting species in their native habitats. Some of his most compelling work comes from the earth's extreme environments, the poles. From the icebergs of the Arctic to the shores of Antarctica, here are incredible photos of the animals that call these frozen places home.

To get this photo, Souders spent over an hour with the bear, allowing her to relax as he photographed her from a distance. When she was comfortable enough, he moved in and got "very, very close. Scary close. I couldn't believe I was doing something this crazy close." Just another day among Arctic and Antarctic wildlife for Souders.