Meet Kevin Richardson – he is an animal behaviourist and has done extensive research on native animals of Africa. His works with hyenas and big cats such as cheetahs and leopards are world recognised. But he specialises with lions.
Born in 1974 in South Africa, Kevin today runs the Kingdom of the White Lion facility in the Lion Park in Gauteng Province in South Africa and is known as the ‘Lion Whisperer’.
A self-taught Zoologist, Kevin is also an author and film producer and his family says he has always loved all animals since he was an infant.
At 23, he came across the chance to work with two 6-month old cubs at the Lion Park near the outskirts of his home in Johannesburg; and he still works with the grown up cubs — Tau and Napoleon.
He has carefully build a team that works with animals for the commercial filming industry and make documentaries to generate income to fund his facility.
Kevin also has a volunteer programme which brings in income and much needed extra hands to run the sanctuary.
You have to meet him to believe as to how he develops a bond with his lions and gets to know them, and has gained notoriety as a Zoologist by living and sleeping with them.
Kevin has disregarded many safety rules concerning lions and has dispelled many myths about their training.
He has actually worked with big cats and relies on intuition rather than static rules and his relationship surely is not an instant one – Most of the lions he works with, he has known since they were cubs.
Meet this man who has shown that lions and animals in general have personalities, feelings, and are social creatures. He shows that with mutual respect, many species can coexist together.
Does that mean there are no dangers? Kevin, throughout his career, has had many close encounters… and therefore he keeps warning people about following in his footsteps. He talks about these encounters in his biography – ‘Part of the Pride: My life among the big cats of Africa’. Kevin’s latest film is called ‘White Lion: Home is a Journey’.
THE KEVIN RICHARDSON WILDLIFE SANCTUARY’S MISSION
The Kevin Richardson Wildlife Sanctuary’s mission is to provide a self-sustaining African carnivore sanctuary for the purposes of wild species preservation through education, awareness and funding, especially pertaining to the rapid decline of large carnivores in Africa due to habitat loss, human-predator conflict, the illegal bush meat trade, unscrupulous hunting, disease and their illegal trade.