Zoologist Kevin Richardson has been nicknamed “The Lion Whisperer” due to his remarkable ability to develop strong bonds with lions. Kevin is on a mission to protect lions from poaching and possible extinction by showing the world what these furry animals are really like. Apparently they are not the vicious, man-eating beasts they have always been made out to be, but cute, cuddly creatures that are really just misunderstood. And who among us can say that we have not been misunderstood in the past as well?
At first glance, it’s difficult to believe how Kevin mingles with the lions, playing with them and hugging them as one might do with a litter of puppies. He has a unique connection with each member of the pack and knows their personality. Some people would say that Kevin is insane, but he seems to know what he’s doing. (Please note that we are by no means recommending that any of our readers attempt to replicate Richardson’s success).
In addition to lions, Kevin also shares a similar relationship with Hyenas. He believes that many people misunderstand these unique creatures, often calling them “smelly runts.” I hope that Kevin continues doing what he loves while opening our eyes and ears to the need to preserve the habitats of these beautiful creatures and protect them from poaching. Every being needs a home, and those without a voice of their own need someone like Richardson to advocate on their behalf.
Hundreds of lions are lost due to poaching each and every year. Kenya alone loses 100 lions annually out of its population 2,000 lions due to this illegal activity. The Kenyan government has made a concerted effort to eradicate poaching, but it’s a not an easy thing to do. The criminals behind the poaching rings are powerful and well-armed, and the government faces a situation in which its resources just aren’t up to the job. Kevin believes that by educating people, awareness will spread and the demand for these furry kings of the jungle will decrease. Failing that, hopefully the awareness will generate international financial support for the protection of lions.
It’s really up to all of us to shed light on the devastation to the lion population being wrought by poaching and to protect lions in the wild. If we don’t, they will face extinction just like so many species before them. The international community needs to boycott this illicit trade altogether and make sure that those responsible for it are held accountable for their actions.