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Watch: The only way to shoot a Lion. Kevin Richardson gets up close and personal with the king of the jungle.

Kevin Richarson Lion Whisperer 1

Kevin Richardson, known online as the lion whisperer gets up close and personal with wild lions to highlight how the king of the jungle is quickly becoming endangered.

 

Richardson, the self-styled ‘lion whisperer’, is a celebrated conservationist and is often seen getting up close and personal with the beautiful big cats in the wild.

His belief that the only way to shoot a Lion is with a camera is fast becoming a global message to save the species.

After graduating with a BSc degree, Kevin began his career in exercise and postoperative rehabilitation. He made a dramatic career switch when he was given an opportunity to work with lions at a local lion park.

As a self-taught animal behaviourist, he has broken every safety rule known to man when working with these wild animals. Flouting common misconceptions that breaking an animal’s spirit with sticks and chains is the best way to subdue them, he uses love, understanding and trust to develop personal bonds with them. His unique method of getting to know their individual personalities, what makes each of them angry, happy, upset, or irritated-just like a mother understands a child-has caused them to accept him like one of their own into their fold.

“They are such big animals so I was very well aware of them because things can go wrong very quickly with the lions,” he added.

“I have been shooting wild lions for almost 20 years now and to shoot these lions in this capacity and to get this close was really extraordinary.”

Kevin’s unique relationships with these large predators have opened many doors and captivated the imagination of many people throughout the world.  He has presented and produced several documentaries that detail his relationships with the animals and highlight the plight of lions both in captivity and in the wild.

Kevin Richarson Lion Whisperer 1

Today, 42-year-old Richardson, who is married and has two children, manages a wildlife area with 31 lions within the Dinokeng reserve north of South Africa’s capital, Pretoria. Many of the lions, which were captive-bred and cannot be released into the wild, were rescued from being transferred to operations that would let customers shoot them, he said.

Richardson said he does not breed lions and that those on his 1,300-hectare property feed on donated carcasses of cattle and antelope.

“I have been accepted as part of the pride,’ said Richardson, scratching the lion Bayetsi’s chin. “But I have to be very careful. They are large animals and are very good at telling you how they feel.”

“The relationships I have with them are purely to give them a better quality of life in a captive situation,” he said. 

“I will look after them as long as I can.”

Kevin has also written a book appropriately named, “Part of the Pride” detailing his work over the years with the large carnivores and is now affectionately known by his fans worldwide as “The Lion Whisperer”.

He’s currently updating the book to reflect his current views on lion breeding, hunting and the new threats lions are facing. He also touches on how he has evolved as an individual who fell in love with two lion cubs in the late 90’s and how they help changed his life.

“Today’s lion cub becomes tomorrow’s trophy and the unsuspecting tourists have blood on their hands.”

“The tourists have been hoodwinked into believing that their contribution of funds is going into lion conservation.”

Through his remarkable relationships with the animals he has also made a name for himself in the feature film industry as one of South Africa’s leading animal consultants and as a handler.

Watch the incredible footage below… where Kevin reunited with his pride of lions who are like a family to him. Of course, while wearing his GoPro to capture the stunning footage:


Sources: Lion Whisperer
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