Close encounter with the fiercest predators. Photographer puts his life on the line to capture mind blowing images with so much clarity and composition. Enjoy!
The extraordinary pictures taken inches away from some of nature's fiercest predators
Last updated at 11:00 AM on 14th May 2010
These amazing pictures bring a whole new meaning to coming face to face with danger.
Photographer Jonathan Griffiths risked his life as he took these breathtaking shots, just inches from tigers, bears and cougars, capturing the moment a lion came so close it was pawing at his lens.
In one shot a tiger left condensation on his lens with its breath.
Cool cat: The Siberian tiger seems unfazed by the frosting of snow covering its face
Leaping cougar: The dramatic shots were taken in the Montana mountains as the photographer endured bitter -40 degree celsius temperatures
A fine set of fangs: A black leopard bares its teeth
Call of the wild: These brown bears let out an almighty roar
Brave: Jonathan Griffiths checks the images on his camera
The 32-year-old currency trader from Egham in Surrey endured bitter -40 degree celsius temperatures, as he gained the trust of each animal over two to three days.
The father-of-one enticed them with meat - mainly chicken - to photograph them close-up in the remote American Rockies of Montana, over the past 15 months.
He got a camera only two years ago as a birthday present from his fiancee, with the intention of photographing their newborn son.
However, after spending time at the local zoo, Jonathan decided he wanted to take pictures of powerful predators in the wild and researched the best places to spot them.
He flew to America, where he stayed in a lodge by a wildlife breeding reserve and would wake at 5.30am each day, trekking along mountain trails in search of some of nature's most dangerous predators.
Jonathan said: 'At first I was quite nervous being so close to the animals, as I did not know what to expect and they are wild.
'It's a big adrenaline rush. When you're so close you can see the drool dripping onto their jaws and you can't believe it.
'By far the most nerve-racking animal was the black leopard, which made me fear for my life and I thought it could attack at any moment.'
Thankfully he, and his camera, survived to tell the tale.
Rare privilege: Snow leopards are famously elusive
Mane attraction: A lion comes up to Jonathan's camera in the American Rockies
Smaller prey: An American Badger is caught on camera
Danger: A pack of grey wolves tear into their prey, alert to the fact there are people nearby
Standing tall: A brown bear rears up imposingly
Paws for thought: Taking some time out
Earning his stripes: A Siberian tiger sizes up Jonathan's lens