A Distinctive Style Magazine

Issue 17

Culture, music, art, creativity, photography, environmental awareness, new fashion, celebrity interviews, motion video, organic eating, holistic health

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Page 53 of 89

a modern Day tarzan K evin Richardson is an animal behaviorist and has done extensive research on native animals of Africa. He has been acknowledged into a pack of hyenas and pride of lions. He works with hyenas and big cats such as cheetahs and leopards. He specializes with lions and runs the Kingdom of the White Lion facility in the Lion Park in Gauteng Province, South Africa. Known around the world as the "Lion Whisperer," Richardson is also an author and film producer. Richardson grew up in Orange Grove, Johannes burg South Africa which, "was a city suburb and didn't have much wildlife," he explains to A Distinctive Style. "From a young age I enjoyed spending time in the garden being outdoors and was amazed always by how much nature was right there in your back garden. I was influenced by books I read and people like George Adamson and Harry Wolhuter." A lifelong animal lover and self-taught behaviorist, Richardson never believed that using any type of violence was an appropriate way to subdue wild animals. As a behaviorist, he uses a unique method of getting to know each wild animal's personality. In return these animals—lions in particular—learn to trust and accept Richardson. While working at Lion Park in Johannesburg, Richardson created a series of documentaries about his special bond with jungle animals. Award-winning filmmaker Michael Rosenberg was impressed with Richardson's animal bonding abilities, and decided to capture these special relationships on film. 54 A Distinctive style . com Documentaries such as Dangerous Companions, and shows like Growing Up Hyena further exposed Richardson's special animal-bonding gift. Richardson moved with the animals he works with to a larger farm nestled just outside the Cradle of Human Kind, 50-60km North of Johannesburg, called the Kingdom of the White Lion. He resides opposite the property where the animals are kept, and works closely with them on a daily basis. Richardson recently worked on the dramatic feature film White Lion, a project in the making for 4 years, which details the life of a young white lion. When he's not whispering to the lions, Richardson is actively involved in various conservation and research projects in the Okavango Delta and Lydenberg area and as a result has produced another documentary on black leopard called In Search of a Legend. "I'm also working on a documentary called Lights, Camera, Lions! And a feature film called African Safari 3D," he explains. "I've got more exciting documentaries coming." As for his person-to-person interactions, Richardson says, "My life is very busy at the moment which takes me away from home a lot this past year. So, when I am home, I love to spend time with my two-year old-son and my wife." www.lionwhisperer.co.za

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