Richie Bartlett Jr.

Fantastic! Wish I could live the life this guy has!These cats are gorgeous as they are ferocious.

What South African zookeeper Kevin Richardson does may raise a few eyebrows, but he’s on a mission to show another side to the elusive “King of the Jungle.”

In the captivating 2013 video below, Richardson invites the GoPro production crew along for an unforgettable ride. Richardson has formed such a strong connection with the wild lions near Pretoria, South Africa, that he has been accepted as one of their own. This closeness allows Richardson to understand these majestic creatures on a much deeper level than previously thought possible — observing each individual’s behavior, instincts, and emotions as a member of their pride.

Richardson has forged such meaningful bonds with these lions that he even places his arm in one of their mouths without fear of it being bitten off, confident in the trust they share. On his website, Richardson shares his plans for the Kevin Richardson Wildlife Sanctuary, which he hopes will “provide a self-sustaining African carnivore sanctuary for the purposes of wild species preservation through education, awareness and funding, especially pertaining to the rapid decline of large carnivores in Africa due to habitat loss, human-predator conflict, unscrupulous hunting, disease and their illegal trade.”

Watch the aptly nicknamed “Lion Whisperer” in action in the video below.

Video (14:42 minutes) 🔗

GoPro: Lions - The New Endangered Species?

The GoPro production crew journeys to Africa to explore the danger and beauty of Kevin Richardson’s passions for lions and their future.