ucumari, bear with mystical power

Zoo's: keeper of the species

I work & volunteer at the North Carolina Zoo (USA). I also do some remote cam work for New Earth. If you look through my photos and sets you will see my love of bears.

In November 2010 I was invited to Churchill Manitoba by Polar Bears International.
Seeing Polar Bears in their natural environment was a dream come true.
Please visit my set of these magnificent animals.

Do not be offended if I don't reciprocate you as a contact. Time is my enemy.
I value everyone's visits, comments, favs, and notes. They are very much appreciated.

For my views on zoos please visit:

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

For a quick view of my most interesting, my sets or to just see my most recent on black.
Thanks to Flickriver.


ucumari photography's favorite photos from other Flickr members (53,965)

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Testimonials (24)

  • view profile

    nondesigner59 says:

    "A talented photographer with a love of nature and a great eye for the 'decisive moment'. Her photos are a must view for animal lovers."

    December 12th, 2017

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    irishguards says:

    "Beautiful, beautiful animal work. Her polar bears are absolutely fantastic. I trully hoe she gets more chances like her trip to Churchill, as I am sure the results will be just as stunning."

    February 11th, 2011

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    nal from miami says:

    "Valerie is one of the most talented Nature photographers I know. Her talent is only matched by her love for animals.
    If you do not have the time to visit the NC Zoo, visit Valerie's stream - her passion for the inhabitants of the zoo is apparent. I will be forever grateful to her for allowing me to visit the Zoo through her photos."

    June 15th, 2010

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    uncovered stone says:

    "Valerie is one of the most talented wildlife photographers I've ever seen. Her photos are always perfectly sharp, composed wonderfully and taken at just "that" moment. Her commentary is often humorous. She loves and respects all the world's animals and it shows in her work. I hope to meet her face-to-face one day."

    August 21st, 2009

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    susie 1 says:

    "Val has been my flickr friend for nearly 17months now.
    I love visiting her photostream, and her photography is second to none.
    I feel as though Willy the polar bear is a friend of mine, as I avidly follow his exploits through her photostream.
    I think it's because Val loves wildlife, that she is able to portray the animals so well.
    Her photography is as close to perfection as it gets, Superb work.
    If you visit ucumari photostream, I know you will agree.
    Sue (susie1) x x"

    August 16th, 2009

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    Tambako the Jaguar says:

    "Valerie's animal pictures are simply gorgeous and fantastic. They are great on the artistic and technical side. But her skills don't stop at just photographing them. Firstly, she present them so alive through her photostream, like not many other photographers can. Secondly, she informs about the animals she presents. That shows the conscience she has to want to educate us and protect them.

    Watching her pictures is a pure delight and an educational trip.
    I'm looking forward to see her future additions!

    Last but not least : she is a very nice and sensible person who I consider as a friend."

    April 8th, 2009

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    dfg photography says:

    "I know that a visit to ucumari's stream will always make me smile. Her nature photography is impressive and inspirational and she seems to go from strength to strength.

    I can't wait to see what delights await us in the future!"

    September 17th, 2008

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    Bowden2611 says:

    "Hey, you have some great pics.
    Far too many to comment them all.
    I would like to thank you for taking the time to view and comment my pics.
    Keep up the good work.
    P.S, How did you become so popular on Flickr lol."

    August 20th, 2008

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    astonishing part says:

    "Your polar bear pics have always amazed me and inspired me to want to an exhibit in real life. The only problem was there isn't one here in the Houston area. however, I recently got the chance to go to Chicago for buisness and made a special trip to the Lincon Park Zoo just to see their exhibit. My pics are not near as wonderful as yours but Im so happy I finally got to see them in real life. Thank you for all your wonderful pictures."

    June 16th, 2008

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    conwest_john says:

    "In the matter of wild animals, ucumari is probably Flickr's greatest conscience. From the evidence, it's clear that all of Flickr's wildlife photogs love animals, but few take acting on their behalf as seriously as ucumari does. And I imagine she supports these animals the way she photographs them - with a sense of humour which tends to rock and rollick across the span of her photostream.

    ucumari's biggest passion is for bears and when she looks at one of these beauties and the bear looks back their connection is clear and often electric. Some of her bears look as if they know ucumari as well as she (and her camera) knows them.

    ucumari has other subjects too, most notably Richmond, Virginia, one of America's most beautiful small cities, rich in tradition and history and ucumari's photos. Note in particular 'Greetings from Richmond Va', depicting a quiet fountain, quiet colours and a congenial lack of people. Or 'Dirty deeds done dirt cheap!' which depicts the Virginia State Capitol buildings as the cleanest-looking buildings in Richmond anyhow. Then top it up with 'Quiet Reflections', where ucumari's title and subject play off each other perfectly and Flickr receives one of its most elegant images.

    And note too ucumari's other animals, including the set 'Frogs', which depicts some of the most alien and lovable animals I've seen. Instead of a blue one though, my favorite is 'I, reflected', not just because it's a more familiar frog but also because like 'Quiet Reflections' it's another beautiful doubling of an image. Note in 'Cats' the sleepy-eyed Canada lynx; in 'Face Shots' ucumari's photo 'Pucker Up', which wants to know just how high you would go to kiss an assertive animal; in 'My favorite animal photos' the photo 'I feel a headache coming on!' which reminds you that you can live with your migraine after all; and, among my favorites, note in 'Columbus Zoo' the photos 'You're getting sleeeepy...', 'intensity', 'Daydreamer', and 'Deep Snow!', each of them depicting sunlight, a Siberian tiger and fresh snow - nothing more beautiful. In ucumari's hands anyhow.

    There are so many wildlife sets and so many unrivaled photos. For every brilliant photo most photogs give Flickr, ucumari has a whole set of them and many depict bears. I don't know if ucumari picks favorites, but mine are her polar bear photos, partly because here ucumari's sense of humour is often in play. Note 'Willy, NO swimming and talking on your cell phone'; 'Relaxation 101'; 'High Five'; and 'The End'. Polar bears are endearing partly because of their beauty and partly because of their spirit of play - and ucumari depicts both with a brilliance you begin to take for granted.

    But there is ucumari's conscience too - and while all her animal photos speak eloquently to their fight to remain independent and hold fast to their dignity, for this serious and at times heartstopping side of ucumari's photography take note of her great polar bear photo 'See no evil...' This bear could be the poster animal here in the early stages of the fight against global warming - and this photo should be the poster. ucumari knows when it's time to get serious."

    June 7th, 2008

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    Zunkkis says:

    "Amazing photos! Those animals will make me smile every time I visit here. Thanks for cheering us up!"

    April 4th, 2008

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    pandasrus says:

    "Your photos are incredible! You should be working for National Geographic or selling your photos to their magazine! Every photo seems perfect in every way.
    What a gift you have in photography, and your subjects are the best in the world to capture!!"

    March 15th, 2008

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    sallzz says:

    " I was totally blown away when I saw these images. Ucumari's photographs are heart warmingly beautiful. They capture the very essence of the glorious animals that she meets with humour and passion. Thankyou for sharing them, they are FANTASTIC :-)"

    March 5th, 2008

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    Richie26 says:

    ""Ucumari" is impressing me every day with her pictures, I don't know why but her pictures are more then pictures, they seems to be alive, she knows the right moment to take them. Some people have the luck to be a natural talent and have that photographic eye, Ucumari is one of that selective group. Thank you Ucumari to share your amazing beautifull pictures with us !"

    November 16th, 2007

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    ajithprabhakar says:

    "ucumari .. her all frames are jst perfect ,live and communicates her passion for the frames that she captures .. She is just another perfect photographer who is always inspiring .. She is an idol for the upcoming photographers .. good work pal ,,keep the spirits up .. We love ur snaps and waiting for more great frames from you .."

    April 25th, 2007

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    DesertNana -majamom says:


    March 26th, 2007

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    Bob.Fornal says:

    "Valerie's photographs of animals are absolutely beautiful with an incredible sense of movement and life ... excellent work, never stop ..."

    February 22nd, 2007

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    shotzy says:

    "Ucumari's animal images are always outstanding. I am struck by her ability to capture so many expressions: intense looks, gentle looks, friend and foe. I am never disappointed, and always looking for her images to appear."

    January 23rd, 2007

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    _Bonnie_ says:

    "Val brings the Wild Kingdom into my living room and I'm so appreciative of her wonderful shots of lions, tigers, bears and the rest of animals that she captures (magnificently) with her fabulous photographic skills. I often feel the world doesn't care enough about animals' welfare, and I think Val is helping to change that, one picture at a time. Val, thanks for being a great contact!"

    December 24th, 2006

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    Steven Ford / snowbasinbumps says:

    "VAl, you light up my life, and make my morning better. Fantastic captures. If I can't get to Africa, or even a decent ZOO today, at least i can come and check out your fantastic PIX. KEEP THEM COMING. PS. I AM going into Yellowstone for the Volves in a couple weeks, That's my idea of a New Years party!"

    December 15th, 2006

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    nightmares_n_fairy_tales says:

    "Valerie (ucaumari) was one of the first people I had in mind when created Impressed by your Beauty. I immediately emailed her and crossed my fingers hoping she'd agree to be on our Care Giving team. It's been a wonderful delight working with Valerie, she's been a great team player, and fabulous sniffer.. and has some of the most amazing captures on her own photostream. A wonderful kind friend, and am happy to have met her during my earlier days as a Flickr member. ~_^"

    December 13th, 2006

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    donnapandabear says:

    "I was fascinated to find ucumari's photos on Flickr while searching for bear pics. She has such a gift for capturing all the different animal expressions and moods and is kind enough to share her love of nature with us. I can't thank her enough."

    September 15th, 2006

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    jazzy basin says:

    "Valerie's photos take us to the innocent depth of the Animal world-unnoticed and underappreciated before!"

    September 6th, 2006

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    tammyjq41 says:

    "Valerie has made flickr a blast for me! She has a Fabulous Pictures and One great sense of humor. Her heart is large for animals and her animal pics capture that.

    Thanks valerie


    August 8th, 2006

January 2006
Planet Earth
I am:
ucumari77 [at] yahoo.com