Lions and Hyenas and Tigers, Oh My!

By AngelicView

Thanks to my friend Laron at Transients.info for reminding me of this guy. I have always been amazed by him. His name is Kevin Richardson, and when asked if he considers himself “The Lion Whisperer”, he says “no”. Well, if there is such a thing as a Lion Whisperer, I’d say he’s the closest there is! He has such a great relationship with lions. He relaxes with them, plays with them, bathes with them, and just basically seems to be their ‘friend’.

What is it about a man who is a friend with lions that is so fascinating? Well, for me, I think of a lion as being a terror. He (or she) can EAT ME, and can definitely catch me to do it! 😉

But being that I am a Lover, having love for the Earth, other Humans, and all animals (perhaps no love for insects – but I still wouldn’t want to see an insect suffer) it would be a dream for me to cuddle up with a lion. Also, a lion seems like the purrr-fect protector if he likes you and doesn’t want to see someone attacking you, right?

While Kevin Richardson makes it look easy to befriend a lion, I have to wonder if everyone has the same ability to do it. Perhaps they are not the scary and blood-thirsty creatures I believed they were.

Does anyone remember the name of that movie that came out about 20 years ago about a construction crew that went to Africa to build something (a railroad track?) and they were attacked night after night by a lion? It had a very famous actor in it and after I watched that movie I had nightmares about lions. The lions were always just lurking somewhere near-by, but I was always scared to death that they were going to pounce on me at any moment! It is claimed that the story is true (or based on true events) and that the lion is on display at a Chicago museum.

But Kevin doesn’t give you that picture of these sweet beasts. Does he have something special with the lions that the rest of us can watch from afar and not be able to attain? Or can it be within our dreams to perhaps someday make friends with animals who were formerly scary to us? I think that most times when an animal lashes out at humans, they do it because the human scared the animal. And so your object must be to not scare the animal until it knows it can trust you.

Of hyenas, he says, “They do not smell, they’re not rotten… and their lowest-ranking female ranks higher than their highest-ranking male.”

Description: (Thanks to Business Insider)

Kevin Richardson is an animal behaviorist who has become famous for getting up-close to wild animals, including lions and hyenas.

In a viral video, taken by a GoPro camera, the so-called “lion whisperer” can be seen hugging and cuddling two lions that he rescued as cubs when their mother abandoned them.

The lions are now 10 years old.

Despite all of this time living in the wild in South Africa, the lions still respond to Richardson’s voice. He calls the animals’ names and they come running to greet him.

Richardson’s methods are controversial since interacting with wild animals is obviously dangerous.

But on his website, Richardson argues that developing personal relationships with lions brings attention to their plight in captivity and the wild.

A large study published in the journal Science this week found that three-quarters of the world’s top predators, including lions, are going extinct. This is largely due to habitat loss.

You can watch Richardson stroking and kissing his lion friends like house cats in the video.

The “Lion Whisperer” Background

Thanks to Lion Whisperer

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

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.

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 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”.

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 handlers and advisors.

He has been featured prominently as a result of his ground breaking work on many local and international News Networks, Newspapers, Magazine and Actuality Programs including Sky News , CNN, ABC News, NBC , CBS, Carte Blanche and Top Billing.

His most ambitious project to date was that of a full length dramatic feature film called “white lion”, whereby he fulfilled the role as both producer and lion wrangler. The film took over four years to make and is about the life of a young white lion, “Letsatsi” who survives against all the odds to become an adult and find a pride of his own.

“Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That’s the problem.”
~ A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

“I ask people why they have deer heads on their walls. They always say because it’s such a beautiful animal. There you go. I think my mother is attractive, but I have photographs of her.”
~ Ellen DeGeneres

“You can judge a man’s true character by the way he treats his fellow animals.”
~ Paul McCartney

“I think I could turn and live with the animals, they are so placid and self contained;
I stand and look at them long and long.
They do not sweat and whine about their condition;
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins;
They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God;
Not one is dissatisfied-not one is demented with the mania of owning things;
Not one kneels to another, nor his kind that lived thousands of years ago;
Not one is responsible or industrious over the whole earth.”
~ Walt Whitman

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”
~Anatole France

(More Information ↓)

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