Man Who Rescued Two Lions As Cubs Plays With Them Face To Face
Jan 27, 2021 by apost team
If you’ve owned animals throughout your life, you know that the bond between animals and humans can be stronger than any bond in the world. Many people have even dedicated their entire lives to rescuing animals simply because they love them so much. Kevin Richardson is one such person.
When Richardson, a South African conservationist, had the opportunity to rescue two wild animals in 2002, he knew he couldn’t shy away from the chance. In 2016, Richardson met up with those wild animals again for a fascinating video.
Be sure to reach the end of this article to see the full video :-)
Richardson rescued two baby lions — two creatures most people would be afraid to approach. The lions' names were Meg and Amy, and his instincts told him to bring them to safety immediately.
Richardson's actions were solely responsible for saving the life of the cubs, so seven years later, he filmed a special video to show how the lions that he rescued had grown up.
After they were brought to safety, the cubs needed to learn how to survive and be wild animals on their own. Before they were taken to a rescue location, they were helpless and too young to know how to take care of themselves. The goal was to get the cubs to be able to grow up into functioning adult lions without the help of humans. And since their rescue, it seems that these two lines have grown up to be wonderful playmates.
Instead of being fearful of the two lions in the below video, Richarson decides to take them by storm and approach them without hesitation. He also decides to capture the moment with a GoPro that he straps around the belly of one of the lions so everyone could share in his amazing moment!
Together, the lions wander around the African grasslands and even take a dip in the river.
Richardson decides that he wants to get in with them, but he loses them from his sight for a second in the video. But then, he finds one of the lions in a crouching position. The footage that occurs after this moment is absolutely incredible, and you need to witness it for yourself to believe it!
Once you realize that the lions know exactly who Richarson is, the moment will tug at your heartstrings! This proves that even animals that are wild and not domesticated can still form bonds with humans.
But how exactly did Richardson stumble upon these two magnificent creatures? And what is their story?
According to Around the World: Wildlife and Nature, this story of animal friendship begins with Richardson working at a 1,600-acre lion park in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1997 when he was 23 years old. At the park, Richardson discovered that he had a natural ability to work with animals. Five years after this discovery, Richardson came upon two lion cubs.
The lion cubs' mother picked the two babies up by the scruff of their necks and left them for dead. Richardson, who is a clear animal lover, intervened. Instead of simply letting the two cubs fend for themselves, he placed them with their aunt, hoping that she would raise them. But, as Around the World reports, the cubs' aunt wanted nothing to do with these vulnerable creatures. She carried the two babies to a nearby ditch and left them there, just as their mother had done.
Richardson, who saw this unfold, didn't want to leave these motherless cubs to die, and so he rescued the two babies. Richardson named the two lions Meg and Amy.
Although these two cubs had already gone through the trials and tribulations of life in the wild, they faced seemingly insurmountable challenges once again when Richardson mistakenly sold them to a breeder. According to Around the World, Richardson discovered that the breeder had placed Meg and Amy in a crowded enclosure. Consequently, Richardson worried that Meg and Amy might be part of a canned hunting ground operation. Canned hunting grounds are artificial trophy hunting areas that make the sport easier. For example, a canned hunting ground might be a large, fenced-in animal enclosure
Richardson, who had gone to great lengths to save Meg and Amy, clearly didn't want them to fall prey to some trophy hunter. And so Richardson purchased the two lions, taking them back to the sanctuary.
Shortly thereafter, Richardson officially established the Kevin Richardson Wildlife Sanctuary, a 3,000-acre plot of land. As of 2018, Around the World reports that Richardson shelters 26 lions of all ages.
With such a unique story, it's no wonder that Richardson quickly found an audience online when he launched his YouTube channel in 2014. The channel, which has accumulated over 1.7 million subscribers, documents Richardson's life at the sanctuary. Because of Richardson's close relationship with the many lions he takes care of, viewers call him The Lion Whisperer, which is also the name of his channel.
Sadly, viewers learned in January of 2020 that Amy, one half of this dynamic lioness duo, had died.
"It’s still incredibly surreal…we’ve lost our beautiful girl Amy," Richardson wrote in the video's description. "Join us in thanking Amy for touching so many lives around the world. She helped us educate and spread awareness about canned lion hunting, the pitfalls of cub petting, lion bone trade and the declining wild lion population. You put up a beautiful fight, but it’s time to rest in peace…"
Viewers were also devastated.
"I deleted my last comment because I felt it was too much heart and compassion," Jason Clayton wrote on YouTube. "As a man of 49 I cried multiple times. I did not like the news that she passed even though I’m late because of everyday life happening around me. And the way humans are treating one another in this current day. Thank you Kevin. And thank you to the employees that enriched this show to the fullest. From my soul to yours thank you for your hard work that you all do. Much love."
Although Amy has passed on, Richardson continues to update his many fans on the lions he takes care of at the sanctuary. In one of his most recent videos, Richardson reflects on his long 22-year-long career as a wildlife conservationist.
"I was saying to somebody the other day, I've worked now almost 22 years. And I don't get tired of it," he says in the video's opening.
And that shows. Just watch the video below, and you'll see how much Richardson loves his lions.
What do you think of Richardson's story? Doesn't it show how strong a bond between humans and wild animals can get? Let us know what you think, and make sure to pass on this heartwarming story to your friends and family.