Many of you know him as the ” LION WHISPERER” many call him the lad who is friends with lions, and many have seen him sleep and get accepted by a full tribe of LIONS.
Ever wondered what would it be like to be accepted by a lion, be in his presence- of a magnificent beast. Gentle, calm and strength engraved in it’s behaviour with ferocity like no other! what would it be like to connect with the lion king sans words just energy and emotion ? to look in to it’s eyes and not see fear but respect and understanding that you are not there to harm them. All of this is experienced, every single day in this man’s life KEVIN RICHARDSON.
So who is he ? and why you should know him ?
With over 1.1 million followers on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/lionwhisperersa/
He is one of the most spoke about self taught conservationist and sanctuary owner, who has worked tirelessly and cared selflessly for his animals back home in SOUTH AFRICA and around the world. His constant fight for conservation of habitat and canned hunting of lions has raised awareness amongst the masses both young and old alike. “Canned hunting” is hunting of lions locked within an enclosed location which makes it easier for hunters to kill the lions.
With a facility of over 650 hectares caring for it’s residents Meg and Amy the famous lioness sisters who are frequent guests on his Youtube channel along with handsome George, Yami and Bobcat the sanctuary is home to many other animals. Hansome and rare black leopards, hyennas one of the most notorious species that kevin has been working with and reconstructing their image in front of the world. Portrayed as mischief makers and devilish creatures in movies like “THE LION KING” they are actually pretty lovable.
One of the many ways that kevin uses to raise awareness amongst the crowd is through conducting the famous volunteer programs, where he allows people like you and myself (hopefully one day i will be there!) to come to his sanctuary for 2 weeks and educate them about the sensitive issues regarding lion conservation. Giving an insight on how lions behave to different situations and you can experience first hand the magical bond that he shares with his lions. Be a part of the program and you will take care of the sanctuary from feeding the lions and preparing their meals to maintaining their habitat and watching kevin go on his enrichment walks with the lions. Although kevin does all of these himself he discourages his visitors to get too close to the lions for their own safety as he understands very well that they are still beasts who have wild instincts in them. For more information on volunteer programs you can always go to the link below and read more about him.
CAPTIVITY AND CANNED HUNTING
One of the things that kevin has always been speaking of is how captivity of lions and the access to people of these carnivores as mere play mates for their social media posts might be actually pretty harming for the animal’s overall well being. What animal lovers do not understand that these interactive sessions that zoo or animal parks have actually harm these animals. most of the times they are drugged or over worked and irritable by the constant touching and poking when actually they should be spending most of their time sleeping as cubs and eating. Which is one of the reason that most of these animals are weak and under nourished at the animal parks. This is all done to stay in competition with other parks and zoo’s because if not then all the patrons would go to another park that offers that excitement of interacting with these beautiful animals.
Once the cubs reach around 6 months old they are generally deemed too dangerous for close interaction and photo opportunities and are then used in the ‘walking with lions’ activity which has become common place in many of these facilities. The ‘walking with’ experience will last until the cub reaches 20 or so months depending on the individuals personality, after which the juvenile animals no longer have an immediate cash value. They are either put in enclosures that are more than often over stocked to grow into adult specimens or sold on for a cheaper price at the age of 20 months to dealers or hunting farms.
Along with his youtube channel where he posts video series like ‘ask meg and amy’ and ‘scents and sensibility’ series, his latest video where he goes out with Bobcat and gabby he has a foundation. kevinrichardsonfoundation.org where you can visit and come to terms with his upcoming programs and events that he is hosting. You can be an active part in this movement that he has launched in order to save the habitat and the carnivores in that habitat. He seeks to buy land and give it back to mother nature through this organisation.
#onecupforacause is a movement started by the foundation urging people to give up one cup of coffee for a cause. Kevin made a short video with his lions emphasising on how around 2.2 Billion people drink a cup of coffee on an everyday basis. He asks the members of his tribe and his followers to give up one cup of coffee a month and donate that amount for the betterment of lions across the globe. https://youtu.be/9kxWMnfwY7s
There is a lot to write about a man who shoulders the responsibility of lions in his sanctuary and around the world but one article may not do justice to it. Which is why be sure to check out his foundation and his Youtube channel. Follow him on instaram and enjoy the moments shared.