I came across these videos this morning, with the same theme.
From National Geographic, Brian Skerry describes the exhiliration of an up-close encounter with a curious, 45-foot-long right whale.
Also from National Geographic, Paul Nicklen describes his most amazing experience as a National Geographic photographer - coming face-to-face with one of Antarctica's most vicious predators.
Chris Johnson describes photographing Kalahari lions, and how it took him 12 years to capture how majestic they can be.
I wonder if this ever happened to him?
If you're interested in animal photography, you'll like this page at National Geographic, and browsing the Photo of the Day/Animals pages.
Photographing animals requires patience and time. The Kodak website has good tips on how to take interesting pictures of animals, and dphotojournal has tips for taking photos of wild animals (even at the zoo).