60 Minutes will showcase the extraordinary wildlife images of Thomas D. Mangelsen, one the world's foremost nature photographers, on Sunday, May 6 at 7:00 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. Anderson Cooper interviews Mangelsen about his work and accompanies him on a wildlife shoot in Wyoming for this profile, in which Jane Goodall, his friend and collaborator, also appears.
Some of the animals he photographs, such as mountain gorillas, black rhinos and jaguars, are threatened with extinction. He and Goodall help to raise awareness for their scarcity and raise money to save them.
Mangelsen's name is not a household word, but he is credited with producing some of the world's most recognizable wildlife photos – all shot in the animals' natural habitat. One, that captures the nanosecond before the jaws of a brown bear clamp down on a leaping salmon, is one of the most famous ever taken. It's what it's all about to Mangelsen. "This is the magic. This is the moment. This is the decisive moment, and this little tiny space right here I think is so important."
It may be one of his best, but it's not the one that took the longest to get. The photo he took of a mother cougar leaving her den took 42 12-hour days of waiting he recalls. He says if you calculated all the time he spent trying to get the right shot over his decades-long career, it would be "stupid." Nonetheless, "You wait long enough, it does pay off," he tells Cooper.