For professional wildlife photographers like Jason Leo Bantle, no two days are the same – and finding beauty in the unexpected is all just part of the job.
From raccoons and deer to birds, whales and seals, this Alberta-based pro has seen some pretty incredible things – but few critters command a forest quite like “The Boss.”
Weighing between 650 and 700 pounds this powerful grizzly has asserted his dominance all over The Bow Valley – fathering several cubs in the area, eating other bears and proving he fears next to nothing, despite being struck by a train.
Surprisingly, though, when Bantle came across the bear this past week – he was looking for an animal less famed.
“When I happened upon The Boss, I wasn’t planning to see a bear that day. I was actually headed to Jasper to photograph moose and just happened upon tracks of a grizzly bear,” he told Curiocity.
These tracks led him right to the aptly named animal and with his 960-millimetre lens, years of experience and caution – was able to catch some incredible images.
“As a kid growing up, I spent a lot of time in the outdoors and I actually did a master’s in biology on carnivores, so I’ve been fortunate to learn a lot about these creatures and their habits which has been very helpful in my profession.”
“It’s a blessing that I got to choose this,” he continued – adding that through his career, he’s not only able to take photos but advocate for wildlife.
“I take that responsibility seriously – in terms of making sure that people understand that I’m using very long lenses, I’m trying to understand the animals, and I’m trying not to put them at risk.”
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“You see people approaching elk and moose with their cell phones, and that doesn’t have the welfare of the animal at heart.”
Bantle said he spends about 50% on the field and has travelled all throughout Canada with his work appearing in galleries from coast to coast and even raising money for the All in the Wild Land Fund, which aims to set aside land for nature and animal conservation.
To see more photos of The Boss (and other bears) or to learn more, you can visit his website or his Instagram.
His work really is incredible – so check it out and enjoy a good green scroll.
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