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Saturday, 13 August 2011

Favourite Green Person of the Week: Kevin Richardson

The Lion Whisperer

I'm pretty sure you all know by now the deep love I have for the beautiful lions. That is why, this week's favourite green person is someone I not only admire, but also someone I am extremely jealous of. Kevin Richardson, the lion whisperer and the man that is able to tame the king of the jungle and befriend an entire pride of this wild animal, is this week's Favourite Green Person.

Richardson is a self-taught animal behaviourist whose interest in all types of creatures large and small began from the early age of 3. He has broken the norm when it comes to the human-wild animal relationship. Instead of using chains and sticks to tame them, Richardson’s weapons of choice are love, understanding and trust in order to form personal bonds with lions. For the lions to accept him as one of their own, Kevin has a unique technique of analysing their individual personalities to know what makes each of them happy, upset or irritated.

With his unique relationship with these large predators, Richardson started making documentaries and commercials while working at the Lion Park in Johannesburg, South Africa. After being discovered by award winning documentary maker Michael Rosenberg, Kevin rose to fame with documentaries such as ‘Dangerous Companions’ and shows like ‘Growing Up Hyena’. He has also been involved in many conservation and research projects in the Okavango Delta and Lydenberg area which resulted in the production of another documentary on the black leopard called ‘In Search of a Legend’.

With the growth of his animal filming/documentary career, Kevin moved with the animals he works with into a large farm located 50-60km North of Johannesburg known as the Kingdom of the White Lion. He lives directly opposite the property where the animals are kept, and this allows him to work with them on a daily basis. There, Kevin worked on the dramatic film feature called White Lion. The film was released on the 19th of February 2010 in South Africa and documents the life of Letsatsi, a young white lion who despite the many challenges, lives to become the glorious adult white lion that he was always meant to be.

Richardson represents the importance of always treating animals with love and care, no matter their size or nature. I truly admire him for his ability to tame the beast and capture his heart. I would LOVE to walk in his shoes for a day: mingle with the royalty of the Animal Kingdom and have the opportunity to hug the mighty lion and stare him fearlessly right in the eyes, up close and personal.

For more information, take a look at Kevin's website or follow him on Twitter and show him some love! :)

Anoud x


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