Originating as an adolescent wild running “Bird Man of Orange Grove” caring for all things nature to a self taught animal behaviourist, it is no surprise that when Kevin Richardson crosses all barriers involved with the animal kingdom and cuddles lions he is known as the mighty “Lion Whisperer”.
Kevin Richardson is both a zoologist and animal behaviourist who has trained some of the most dangerous and territorial animals known to man. He focuses on building bonds with species such as lions, cheetahs and hyenas and has been the only human to have ever been accepted into a lion’s pride. He refuses to use physical re-enforcement (chains, sticks and collars etc.) to understand their behaviour and instead relies on his ability to read the body language of species. He understands their personalities on an independent level, learning what makes them active, defensive and playful. Although most think his close encounters of sleeping and swimming with lions is crazy, attacks received from lions have only been warnings – treating him like any other member in their pride.
Kevin uses his incredible talent and reputation to help engage in educational documentaries for these large predators whilst working at the Lion Park in Johannesburg, South Africa. During his hard efforts to establish connections with the wild lions of this park, Michael Rosenberg – an award winning documentary maker was moved by his special performances and wanted to capture his abilities on camera, and thus gave birth to the Dangerous Companions series.
Following this series was another documentary “In Search of a Legend” which is a one off unique story illustrating the passion and dedication involved in finding the elusive black leopard. In the search for this beautiful species Kevin Richardson uses his uncanny ability to communicate with two black leopards Coal and Nikita to help them successfully breed and reproduce.
Just over the past 15 years, African lion populations have dangerously dropped from 350,000 to an estimated mere 25,000. Richardson hopes that the attention generated from his media will raise public awareness on the beauty of lions and their conservation status. South Africa is traditionally known for its game hunting. Providing lion hunts alone generations $90 million dollars a year with tourists paying up to $40,000 just to shoot a lion. Despite its dangerous inflictions on wild numbers, the African government supports these unfair actions to generate desperate revenue. Richard hopes that by showing how extraordinary and unique lions are, people may second think before engaging in trophy hunting events.
Kevin is extremely passionate about conservation and works in close relationship with the PAW Conservation Trust – a non-profit African Wildlife Conservation Trust that aims to support biodiversity conservation.
Ranging from promoting awareness of endangered African species alongside with running educational programmes and supporting social ecologists and environmental scientists; PAWS goal is to preserve global biodiversity for future generations.
For more information on this Trust please visit:
To support Kevin’s work, a list of his films, documentaries, books and charity work can be seen here.
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