Lion Whisperer Kevin Richardson Loves Dangerous Cats

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Kevin Richardson with lions. Afraid of pussy cats? Not Kevin Richardson – big cats purr like kittens for the incredible 'lion whisperer'!

South African lion tamer Kevin Richardson is an animal behaviorist who romps around with powerful predators like he’s part of the pride. Widely known as the "Lion Whisperer", Richardson has completed various films about the lions he lives and works with; one of them called 'White Lion – Home… is a Journey'.

He said that the number of lions in the wild has dropped from about 350,000 to an estimated 25,000 to 30,000 in the last 15 years. He hopes his movie and the media attention he’s getting will raise public awareness of the need to protect Africa’s wildlife.

"What I do is unconventional," he said off-camera. "My methodology is to form relationships with colleagues. I call the animals colleagues. I’m a custodian over them. I don't own them. I’m a caregiver."

Kevin Richardson doesn't fear his animals. He's developed a close relationship with the lions that allows him to interact with them as one of their own

Kevin in a lake with 'Meg', a 400-pound lioness that loves to swim with him.

Remember: Cats hate water!

And then there was this attack of a leopard!

Kevin Richardson didn’t set out to make lions his career although he has always loved animals.  Initially he was a physiotherapist working with humans when he got the opportunity to work with two lion cubs. He was immediately hooked.

The 34-year-old is employed by the Lion Park, a 1'600-acre game preserve in Broederstroom, a town north of Johannesburg, South Africa. He works there not only with lions but also with hyenas and leopards. And he doesn't just interact with the animals – he even sleeps with them!

One more: Richardson with a hyena and roaring lions.

He’s known the animals he interacts with since they were infants. Richardson is not just a human who wanders into the bush and sits down with a lion. He’s grown up with them and is a member of their pride.

I get grazed and scratched all the time but that's just everyday life. A lot of people freak out if they get scratched by a domestic cat, but over the years working with the lions, it becomes part of the job. They scratch and bite each other, there's no reason they shouldn't do it to you, too.

(Kevin Richardson)

Lions 'dancing' with Kevin Richardson. Just the same, he’s been punctured, scratched and bitten in the course of his work, but it’s never malicious, Kevin says. It just comes with the territory when you roughhouse with lions. The point is that "these animals aren’t just wild, mindless killers."

More on Kevin Richardson's movie 'White Lion – Home… is a Journey' here:


which pussy cat do you want to pet today?

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