National Geographic wildlife filmmaker and photographer Bertie Gregory knows no limits. On Sunday, January 13, audiences at UCSB’s Campbell Hall listened to his captivating wildlife adventures, accompanied by stunning photos that included 400,000 king penguins at St Andrews Bay, Mumbai’s urban leopards, and London’s peregrine falcons.
Gregory’s passion for animals was contagious. “I fell in love with this animal,” he said about the coastal gray wolves in British Columbia, which he spotted on his first trip to the Canadian west coast. “It was the first time I ever got close to a coastal wolf, so I was shaking…with adrenaline,” he said. Unfortunately, that meant that “all of my pictures were blurred,” he joked. After the wolf settled, Gregory relaxed and captured beautiful, crisp photos.
Sometime later, Gregory received devastating news: One of the female coastal wolves and her pup were shot and thrown together in a local fishing camp’s dumpster. “If she was a lion, there would’ve been international outcry,” lamented Gregory. “I felt it was my responsibility to return to this place and show just how special these wolves are and why they’re crucial.” Just before he left, Gregory spotted a lone coastal wolf walking in front of his pack. He picked up his camera and started filming.
Gregory hopes his work will “always make a difference.” At the end, he encouraged aspiring wildlife photographers to practice constantly. His advice? See how long you can spend shooting up close without disturbing the animals.
Gregory’s next adventure will be in the Canadian Arctic, where he’ll need to pack a few extra jumpers for the -35°C weather.