Kevin Richardson loves cats so much, that he sometimes spends the night curled up next to one - Not impressed? You will be when you realize, that his companions are not your normal tabby cats, but wild ones, like lions, cheetahs and leopards.
The animal behaviorist works at the Lion Park in Lanseria, which is home to over 80 lions, both normal and white ones, as well as other wild animals like cheetahs, wild dogs, jackals, hyenas and a wide variety of antelope. While he works well with all cats and even hyenas, his first love is lions, with whom he seems to have a natural connection - so much so, that he has been nicknamed 'The Lion Whisperer'.
Unlike other trainers, he uses no whips, sticks or chains. The only weapon he carries, but rarely uses, is a pepper spray. Instead, he uses patience to gain their trust.
Having said that, Kevin realizes that these are wild animals and have to be treated with respect. He learnt that lesson early on in his career, when a four-year old lion attacked him. Though he walked away unharmed, he now observes the animal's mood carefully before approaching them and if something doesn't feel right, he simply walks away.
The cat lover has made numerous documentaries about these beautiful animals. Now, with his new movie, 'The White Lion' the Kevin wants to educate the world about the cruel sport of canned lion hunting - One in which these magnificent cats are raised in captivity and then released so that hunters can track them down. The movie, which is already playing in a few theaters in the United States, is scheduled to be released worldwide soon.
Some people believe Kevin is crazy, while others think that the Lion Whisperer has a special talent - All Kevin knows is that he has a passion and interest in these magnificent animals, that is difficult to match. To read more about this amazing man, check out his website: www.lionwhisperer.co.za.